Sachin Makes History in New Zealand

Century seems to have become Sachin Tendulkar’s middle name. And that is what he did on Sunday to deliver the knockout punch to the Kiwis in their own backyard. A majestic 163 (retd hurt) by the maestro saw India post 392 in their allotted 50 overs, his innings studded with 16 fours and garnished with 5 monstrous hits into the stands.

New Zealand fought hard and gave India a run for their money as they ended up scoring 334 before they lost their last wicket in the form of Tim Southee and losing by only 58 runs even after being set a target of 393 in fifty overs. Cricket surely was a winner at Christchurch.

Sachin Tendulkar was named the man-of the-match for his breath taking innings of 163 not out.

After losing Sehwag (3) and Gambhir (15) cheaply, the Master Blaster manoeuvred his heavy willow with utmost perfection to make the Black Caps swing to his tunes. The Mumbaikar brought up his 43rd ODI century off 101 balls and later went to score 163 off 133 deliveries before he had to walk back to the pavilion due to a muscle pull in the abdomen.

Enter Yuvraj and boundaries started to rain. 87 off just 60 deliveries was the damage that the left handed batsman did to New Zealand. Out of the 87 that he scored, 76 were in boundaries (10×4, 6×6). Sadly, the Kingsmead marauder did not get to his three figure mark but paved way for captain MS Dhoni to come to the crease and free his arms.

New Zealand were left gasping for breath and cover by the devastating Yuvraj who had taken the Kiwi bowlers to the cleaners and brought up his fifty off just 42 balls. He had brought up his half century with an extremely humungous hit, a six that could well have brought down an air hostess with it.

Dhoni played a captain’s innings rotating the strike and sending the loose deliveries to the advertising boards. He departed after scoring 68 but the scoring rate did not dip. Raina contributed 38 from 18.

New Zealand started off extremely well with Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder providing New Zealand with the perfect start. The Kiwis were cruising at 156 for no loss after 20 overs and suddenly seemed to lose the plot as they lost seven wickets till 218. Ryder (105) had blasted off to his maiden century off just 72 deliveries and McCullum departed after 71 from 68 balls.

Suddenly a couple of run outs and an improvement in the fielding saw India run riot into the New Zealand middle order to reduce them to 251/8. It was then that the improbable seemed quite achievable. Kyle Mills (52 off 34) and Tim Southee (32 off 20) joined hands and put up an 83 run partnership for the 9th wicket to give the Kiwis an outside chance of creating history.

Well, there were quite a few records that were created. This was Sachin Tendulkar’s first ODI century in New Zealand. He looked all set to overhaul Saeed Anwar’s record of 194 runs but had to walk away in the 46th over. There were 31 sixes hit in the match, a world record.

India now lead the five match series 2-0 with two more matches to go which means, they cannot lose the series from here on. The next match will be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton on March 11

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Terrorist attack in pakistan against srilankan players

A dozen masked gunmen armed with rifles and rocket launchers attacked a vehicle carrying members of Sri Lanka’s national cricket team Tuesday, wounding at least two players and killing five police officers, officials said.The attack in Lahore came at a time of unrest in both Pakistan and Sri Lanka, both of whom are trying to defeat insurgencies. It was unclear who was behind the assault, but it appeared to have been carefully coordinated.City police chief Haji Habibur Rehman said five policemen died in the shooting and that two players were wounded. A Pakistan Cricket Board security official had earlier said eight players were wounded.”It was a terrorist attack and the terrorists used rocket launchers, hand grenades and other weapons,” Rehman said, adding that the police were hunting down the attackers who managed to flee. “Our police sacrificed their lives to protect the Sri Lankan team.”He said one wounded player was hit in the leg while the other received a bullet in the chest.Sri Lankan team manager Brendon Kruppu said the team’s batsman, Kumar Sangakkara, was among those injured near Gaddafi Stadium ahead of a game.Rehman said 12 masked gunmen participated in the attack. Footage from the scene Tuesday showed the team’s white van with its front window shattered as security officials tried to gain control of the scene in an intersection.Security concerns have plagued Pakistan for years and some foreign sports teams have refused to play here.Most of the violence in Pakistan occurs in its northwest regions bordering Afghanistan, where Taliban and al-Qaida militants have established strongholds. Lahore has not been immune from militant violence however, and at least one attack in recent months in the northwest has occurred next to a sports stadium.Sri Lanka appeared on the brink of crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels after more than a quarter century of civil war.In recent months, government forces have pushed the guerrillas out of much of the de facto state they controlled in the north of the Indian Ocean island nation and trapped them in a small patch of land along the coast.