“Sachin….Sachin….Sachin…Sachin,” time will change, years will pass, but these chanting will keep giving goosebumps to every fan who followed cricket between 1898 and 2013. During this time, international cricket was graced by none other than Sachin Tendulkar, who turns 48 on Saturday (April 24). Born in Dadar, the 5 ft. 5 in. guy made runs, tormented bowlers, shattered records and earned the title of the God. Tendulkar has literally witnessed the evolution of cricket, and the bat used in his first and last game says it all. While the game kept changing with time, the Master Blaster somehow found the way to thrive amid the numerous injuries he sustained during his career. Sachin Tendulkar Thanks Everyone for ‘Good Wishes and Prayers’ After Returning Home.

The former Indian batting stalwart scored as many as 100 centuries in international cricket – still the most by any batsman to date. However, not many of them were more memorable than the iconic ‘Desert Storm’ which Sachin unleashed against Australia two days before his 25th birthday. It was April 22, 1998, the sixth match of the Coca-Cola Cup and stakes were incredibly for the Men in Blue. While Australia had already qualified for the final encounter, India needed to win this game or lose it by a small margin to pip New Zealand and find a place in the summit clash. On This Day in 2012: Sachin Tendulkar Registered His 100th International Century at Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Batting first at the Sharjah Stadium, Australia posted 284/7 thanks to a brilliant century from Michael Bevan and a solid 81 from opener Mark Waugh. However, India’s target was revised to 276 from 46 overs due to a sandstorm. Notably, any total in excess of 275 or 280 was considered to be almost unattainable, but Tendulkar wasn’t going to put his guards down.

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The dasher opener came all guns blazing and smashed Aussie bowlers all over the park. From Michael Kasprowicz to Shane Warne, Sachin spared none and gathered one boundary after another.  While Tendulkar was going strong at one end, he didn’t receive much support from his partners. The likes of Sourav Ganguly (17), Nayan Mongia (35), Mohammad Azharuddin (14) and Ajay Jadeja  (1) got dismissed without making much impact.

As if the natural storm wasn’t enough, Sachin unleashed mayhem from his willow and scored 143 off 131 balls with the help of nine boundaries and five maximums. The swashbuckler eventually got out in the 43rd over, and India were restricted to 250/5 in their allotted overs, losing the game by 26 runs. Nevertheless, India, having scored more than 237, edged New Zealand and qualified for the final two days later.

Tendulkar replicated his heroics in the summit clash and scored 134 off 131 balls. Riding on his efforts, the Men in Blue won the game by six wickets to lift the Coca-Cola Cup title.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 23, 2021 06:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).