Leeds, Aug. 23: On Wednesday, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club honoured Sachin Tendulkar by naming a ‘box’ in the multi-million pound designer East Stand after him. Fortyeight
hours later, Sachin chose to thank admirers at his old County by composing a brilliant hundred — his 30th.
At Trent Bridge, Sachin had fallen in the 90s. Headingley, however, has been a different experience. A streaker did try to ‘upstage’ Sachin, moments after the players left for tea, but absolutely nobody is going to talk about that idiot. Rather, in pubs across Yorkshire, the discussion will centre around the County’s adopted son.
Clearly, if the opening day of the third Test was largely dominated by vice-captain Rahul Dravid, Day-II has pretty much been monopolised by Sachin. Indeed, a shade after tea, India had reached that terms-dictating 455 for three. Sachin was on 129 to captain Sourav Ganguly’s 62.
England’s solitary success was getting Dravid. Beaten in the air and, then, surprised
by Ashley Giles’ bounce, Dravid found himself stumped by the wily Alec Stewart. By then, however, he had scored 148 (personal best against England). Dravid was at the wicket for 429 minutes and faced 307 deliveries (23x4).
Dravid and Sachin added exactly 150 for the third-wicket, following the 170 between Dravid and Sanjay Bangar Thursday. Continuing the excellent work, Sachin and Sourav had already added 120 till soon after tea.
If anything, the Indians are aiming to bat just once and, at this point, are exceedingly well-placed to knock England for a six and level the series 1-1. The weather, though, could prove tricky — the day’s play, after all, got underway 55 minutes late.
Agencies add: Tendulkar’s unbeaten 113 took him past sir Donald Bradman in the list of highest century makers and the master batsman is now only behind Sunil Gavaskar who has 34 centuries from 125 tests.
Tendulkar’s sixth ton against England, in his 99th test, followed the century of Rahul Dravid who made a magnificent 148.
The Indian batsmen were in total control of the proceedings as they went on plundering 185 runs from 51 overs after resuming at their overnight 236 for two.
Tendulkar and Dravid milked the English bowlers who were once again wayward Friday and scored at nearly four runs an over.
Tendulkar, who looked a bit edgy Thursday, was in command right from the start and batted confidently throughout.
In the first session, during which only 15 overs were bowled, yielded 58 runs for India, with Tendulkar progressing from his overnight 18 to 53 and Dravid reaching 130 from 110.
The post-lunch session saw an acceleration and in the very first over Alex Tudor was taken for 13 runs. Dravid hit three beautifully-timed boundaries, two straight and one an elegant drive through covers.
But Dravid’s flawless innings came to an end when he stepped out to play Giles but missed the line to be stumped. Dravid batted for more than seven hours and hit 23 boundaries in his 307-ball knock. But the English bowlers had no respite as Tendulkar was soon racing towards his century. Sourav, who missed his century by just one run in the last Test, also batted resolutely and the runs came easily for the Indians.
Tendulkar reached his milestone with an on-driven boundary, his 13th, off Giles and looked quite relieved to get there. Sourav, on the other hand, also played some delightful strokes on the off-side and put on 86 runs for the fourth wicket with Tendulkar.