Sunday, December 19, 2010
Tendulkar becomes first batsman to score 50 Test centuries
Ramesh Tendulkar on Sunday became the first batsman to score a monumental 50 centuries in the 133-year history of Test cricket. No other batsman has scored more than 39 Test centuries.
Scorecard | Pics: Sachin's 50th Test ton
The little master reached the coveted landmark when he completed his ton on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
It was a century that the entire nation was eagerly awaiting from Sachin Tendulkar.
The moment Sachin found a gap through the extra cover region to push a Dale Steyn delivery for a single, the entire stadium stood up to salute one of the true legends of the game.
He played 197 deliveries and 258 minutes to reach the milestone. He hit 12 boundaries and a big six over long-off with left-arm spinner Paul Harrisbeing the sufferer. This is his seventh century in the year 2010.
If some of the Indian players like Sreesanth were seen saluting Sachin on his achievement, South African players like skipper Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla congratulated the maestro.
The century should rank among one of the best considering the amount of pressure Indian team are in after being all out for a paltry 136 in the first innings.
With established top-order players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina and VVS Laxman back in the pavilion, Sachin found an able ally in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who not only showed positive intent but also let the maestro play his natural game.
This is Sachin's fourth Test century on South African soil and indeed one he would cherish the most.
Incidentally, it was the same opponents South Africa against whom he scored the first ever double hundred by a player in ODIs at Gwalior earlier this year.
The master batsman, enjoying a memorable year at age 37, has amassed more than 1,500 runs in thirteen Tests this year at an amazing average of more than 85 runs per innings.
Tendulkar has scored seven centuries and five fifties in the year 2010 with one more match to play against South Africa, starting on December 26.
With this innings, Tendulkar has extended his record for most hundreds (28) overseas.
During his glittering international career, Tendulkar achieved a quite a few records. Besides being the only cricketer in the planet to score 50 Test centuries, Tendulkar also holds the record for most number of ODI hundreds (46). In total he now has 96 international centuries, the most by any batsman.
With 14506 runs at an average of 56.88 in 175 Tests (most appearances in the longer format of the game), Tendulkar also holds the record for most runs in Test cricket.
In ODIs, he aggregates 17,598 in 442 matches at an average of 45.12.
Tendulkar's records overseas too speak volumes of his talents -- he has scored the most number of runs away from home - 7959 at an average of 56.85 in 96 Tests, and also the most number of centuries (28).
Tendulkar, who has been playing international cricket for 21 years, has hit centuries against every other Test nation.
His tally is made up of 11 hundreds against Australia, nine against Sri Lanka, seven against England, six against South Africa, five against Bangladesh, four against New Zealand, three each against West Indies and Zimbabwe and two against Pakistan.
With one more match of the three-Test series in South Africa scheduled for this year, Tendulkar has opportunity to surpass Mohammad Yousuf's record of 1,768 runs in a calendar year (2006).