Sachin smashes 99th century ! 

India are 118/0 at the moment. I was dumfounded as Sehwag  Sachin blasted half centuries off the hapless South Africans ! That is why I didnt blog !

Morkel bowled at a frenetic pace, but then that never impressed the Indian openers. An 147 kph delivery was blasted by Sehwag for four and Sachin also never allowed Sehwag to outclass him !This is Sachin's 94th ODI fifty and his fourteenth in the WC.

 

 
Pommy Mbangwa says if SA do not get a wicket or two now, they will be chasing a mammoth total !

 

Now the run rate is more than 8 per over. It is now 137/0, as Sehwag and Sachin are going great guns. Sehwag is on a well compiled 71 off 62 balls and Sachin 58 off 38 ! Gambhir hits two consecutive fours and India are 229-1, with Sachin on 96 not out !
Sehwag is out now and India are 142/1. The first wicket partnership, an explosive one, yielded 142 runs ! Now Gambhir has joined Sachin, who is on 62 !

 

Now Sachin is on 98. Gambhir has 46 off 56 balls !

 

The crowd is inspired and noisy, anticipating Sachin's 99th international hundred. If he gets it, it will be his 48th ODI hundred ( He has 51 Test hundreds ).

 

Now Sachin takes a single and moves over to 99. India 234/1 ! Now Sachin, on 99, faces Morkel!

 

He takes a single and lo and behold ! he has smashed his 99th hundred in international cricket, his sixth in World Cup, his 48th ODI hundred and his second in WC 2011 !

 

Sachin smashed seven fours and three sixes in his masterly innings. 100 off 92 balls is not an ordinary innings !
He is close to 18000 ODI runs. He has reached another milestone, of scoring 2000 runs against SA , with a highest score of 200 not out.
Now he is gone, out for 111 ! Now India are 267/2 ! Gambhir is now gone for 69 off 75 balls. Pathan has holed out and this is SA's chance ! India 268/4 !

 

India are now bowled out for 296, setting SA a target of 297 to win. Dale Steyn fired out five Indian batsmen and SA are back in the game !
Now SA are 76/1, needing 220 more from 32.1 overs ! Graeme Smith was out to this nemesis, Zaheer, for 16.

 

SA won by 3 wickets, as Kallis, De Villiers, Amla all knotched up half centuries. In the end du Plessis, Botha and Peterson proved that they can slog well.

 

SA needed 13 runs off the last over bowled by Nehra. The first ball took the inside edge of Peterson's bat and flew for four. The next ball was hit by Peterson for a six and the match was over !

 

The causes of Indian debacle are obvious. Their top batsmen perished in the Powerplay. Sachin, Yousuf, Yuvraj and Kohli all gifted away their wickets. From a formidable position of 267-1, they fell abysmally to 296 all out. For 29 runs, 9 wickets lost and all due to the carelessness of the Indian batsmen.
Ganguly opined that Gambhir is the best batsman at No 1, when the score is around 10/1. But then the score was 142-1 and they should have sent another batsman, who could have accelerated ! When Sehwag was there, India was going at 8 per over. All thought that India will get 350/400 at that rate. Once Sehwag was gone, Gambhir slowed down the rate. Again India should have learnt from NZers ( in their match against Pak). Till 44 overs, they played safe and only after that did they launch their blitzkreing. The Powerplay came as Nemesis for India, as it did for England ( in their match against India). Due to lack of vision, India had lost the match. Catches win matches and Gambhir dropped a catch off du Plessis, which should have been taken. Also Yuvraj. Indians have only themselves to blame !
 

Martin Crowe was right. The Powerplay can make or break you !

 

You cannot blame the tail enders unnecessarily. They were bowled out by the world's fastest bowler !
Many eyebrows were raised when Dhoni gave the last over to Nehra. And Peterson, the left hander, was relieved that it was Nehra and not the offie, Bajji !

 

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