Tendulkar back with a ton but West Indies beat India
by AFP

Ground:Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur
Scorecard:India v West Indies
Player:JE Taylor, SK Raina, IK Pathan, SR Tendulkar, CH Gayle, RR Sarwan, BC Lara
Event:DLF Cup 2006/07

DateLine: 14th September 2006


Sachin Tendulkar smashed a masterly 141 on his comeback from injury Thursday but it was to no avail as the West Indies beat India in a rain-affected DLF Cup one-day international here.


The West Indies won by 29 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method after scoring 141-2 in 20 overs as they chased India's 309-5 when the weather settled matters.


India were 112-2 at the same stage, giving victory to the West Indies.


Ramnaresh Sarwan was not out 37 and Brian Lara not out 27. Openers Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle had earlier gone for 6 and 45 respectively.


It was an inglorious end to Tendulkar's first full match since shoulder surgery sidelined him in March.


The 33-year-old hit 13 fours and five sixes, carrying his bat for only the second time in his 364 limited overs internationals.


He was supported by Irfan Pathan, who whacked a quick-fire 64.


Tendulkar, arguably the best batsman in history with a world record 35 Test and now 40 one-day centuries, proved he has fully recovered and lost none of his winning instincts in a major boost for India ahead of the Champions Trophy.


"It was a very special 100. It was made on a difficult track and I am very happy with it. Everything clicked," he said.


"I'm feeling absolutely fine and very happy to last 50 overs and still be running. It is a reflection of what I have been doing the past few months."


With his elbow strapped in a blue brace, he started nervously and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh spilled a catch when he was on five.


But from there on Tendulkar got a grip, going for his strokes and signalling his intentions by lofting a short ball from Dwayne Smith over the square leg fence for six.


He brought up his 50 with a four through fine leg and notched his ton with a single, hoisting his arms in the air and looking to the heavens.


Lara paid tribute to Tendulkar, as well as his team for getting a win under their belts.


"You just had to watch and appreciate it. It was a very special innings," he said.


"For us, the win will give our middle order batsmen a lot of confidence moving forward."


India had been itching to get going since South Africa's pullout and torrential rain ruined their triangular series in Sri Lanka last month.


With the Champions Trophy firmly in their back of their minds, they selected their strongest team for the match, preferring not to experiment as Australia did in their 78-run victory over the West Indies on Tuesday.


Tendulkar opened alongside captain Rahul Dravid, who won the toss and opted to bat. Dravid looked in fine fettle until Dwayne Smith trapped him leg before for 26.


A 20-minute rain delay when the score was 79-1 failed to break Tendulkar's focus and he hooked up with Pathan to keep the scoreboard ticking over as thunder rumbled overhead and lightening flashed around the ground.


He remained at the crease as first Dravid and Pathan, then Virender Sehwag (9), MS Dhoni (2), and Suresh Raina (34) fell.


Jerome Taylor was the pick of the wayward West Indian bowlers with 3-64. Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle both got one wicket each.


The West Indies needed something special from their batsmen but the omens didn't look good when Chanderpaul top-edged a RP Singh delivery to deep fine leg where Munaf Patel caught him for six.


But opener Gayle was on fire, scoring nine fours in his 45 before thick-edging a Patel ball to wicketkeeper M.S. Dhoni.


It brought captain Lara to the crease and he set about the Indian attack with gusto, accompanied by Sarwan as they furiously chased the big total before the rain came pouring down.

(Article: Copyright © 2006 AFP)


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