Tendulkar Century Seals Record-Breaking Win
India 241 (Dhoni 53) & 387-4 (Tendulkar 103no, Yuvraj 85no) beat
England 316 (Strauss 123) & 311-9 dec. by six wickets
First Test, Chennai, day five: stumps
By John Pennington
An unbeaten century from Sachin Tendulkar helped India reach 387 for four to beat England by six wickets in the first Test in Chennai, smashing the record for a fourth innings total to win a Test in India.
No team had ever posted more than 300 to win in India but Tendulkar, unbeaten on 103, and Yuvraj Singh, not out on 85, put on a match-winning partnership of 163 to put their side 1-0 up in the two-match series.
Tendulkar's 41st Test century was one of his best as he defied both the conditions and England's bowling attack to help India notch up a win in a Test that for nearly four days they appeared to be trailing their opponents. It was the fourth highest total to win a Test and the biggest total reached in the subcontinent, beating the 352 for nine that Sri Lanka reached against South Africa in Colombo in 2006.
Resuming on 131 for one, India lost the wickets of Rahul Dravid for four and Gautam Gambhir for 66 in an intriguing morning session before Tendulkar and VVS Laxman (26) guided the hosts to the break.
England struck quickly to remove the out of form and under pressure Dravid with the 14th ball of the day when he was caught behind by Matthew Prior off of Andrew Flintoff.
Gambhir reached his eighth Test half-century before falling when he offered Paul Collingwood a catch in the gully off the bowling of James Anderson. He hit seven fours in his 139-ball innings.
England bowled without success until after lunch when Laxman was caught by Ian Bell off of Graeme Swann.
Tendulkar and Yuvraj then foiled England's victory charge with measured batting, with Yuvraj unsurprisingly the more attacking of the pair, lofting Monty Panesar for a towering six shortly before tea.
Yuvraj's third Test half-century came from 76 balls before Tendulkar completed 1000 runs in a calendar year for the fifth time, joining Brian Lara and Matthew Hayden in achieving the feat for the fifth time.
As he approached his century and the match its conclusion, the crowd cheered blocks from Yuvraj as if the match had been won with the biggest six the world had ever seen.
He reached the milestone with a beautiful paddle sweep off of Swann that raced to the boundary to seal the win.
Twin centuries from Andrew Strauss (123 & 108) as well as a second innings hundred from Collingwood put England in the position from which they were able to declare and set India what appeared to be a formidable target.
Man of the match Virender Sehwag smashed 83 in 68 balls on day four to leave the match intriguingly poised. In the end, his overnight assessment that, "If we bat 90 overs we can get 250-260," turned out to be absolutely correct.
Strauss joins an illustrious list of players to have scored a century in each innings of a Test match and lost (see table below).
Going into this match, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (three matches) and Kevin Pietersen (one match) were yet to lose or draw a Test as captain and despite England dominating proceedings from day two until late on day four, it is Dhoni's record that is preserved and Pietersen's England that has to go back to the drawing board.
Sachin Tendulkar paid tribute to those who had been involved in the terror attacks in Mumbai that forced England to return home before they returned for the Test series - for all that the match had everything and India pulled off the most remarkable of victories, cricket was the real winner.
|Batsmen to have scored two centuries in a Test match and lost|
|Herbert Sutcliffe (England)
||176 & 127
|George Headley (West Indies)
||106 & 107
|Vijay Hazare (India)||116 & 148
|Clyde Walcott (West Indies)
||115 & 110
|Sunil Gavaskar (India)
||111 & 137
|Andy Flower (Zimbabwe)
||142 & 199no
|Brian Lara (West Indies)
||221 & 130
|Andrew Strauss (England)
||123 & 108
© Cricket World 2008
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