The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin, Sourav make merry
- 244-run second-wicket partnership buries Namibia

Pietermaritzburg: Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly slammed fine centuries as India registered a thumping victory against Namibia here on Sunday to set themselves up nicely for the two remaining crucial league matches.

Put in to bat on a greenish and damp pitch, Indians paced their innings well to finish at 311 for two with Tendulkar notching up his highest World Cup score of 152 from just 151 balls and Sourav ending his run-drought with an unbeaten knock of 112.

The Indians then bowled out Namibia for 130 in 42.3 overs to clinch a 181-run victory. Yuvraj Singh was the most successful bowler, claiming four wickets for just six runs from his 4.3 overs. Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh and Dinesh Mongia took a couple of wickets each.

Todayís result saw India joining England in the second position in group A with 12 points from three wins and a defeat, behind Australia who too have 12 points but have played one match less.

Sourav and Tendulkar, whose effort won him a record seventh World Cup Man of the Match, put on 244 runs from 246 balls for the second wicket after opener Virender Sehwag had been dismissed for a run-a-ball 24.

Tendulkar, who notched up an unrivalled 34th one-day hundred, equalled the record of Australian Mark Waugh in scoring four centuries in the World Cup besides improving on his previous World Cup highest of 140 not out made against Kenya in 1999.

Sourav, woefully out of form in recent times, signalled his arrival with a workmanlike innings, raising his 20th one-day century, which saw him surging ahead of Pakistanís Saeed Anwar to second place in the list of batsmen with most hundreds.

The going was not entirely smooth for the Indians on a slowish pitch and both Tendulkar and Sourav had to work hard for their runs during the initial part of their innings. Tendulkar was also lucky to have been dropped on 32 by Jan Berry Burger.

However, Tendulkar did not let that affect his batting and brought up his half-century with a scorching extra cover drive off Bjorn Kotze with the team total on 93 for one in the 19th over.

Sourav restricted himself to singles in the initial phase of his innings but reached his fifty in emphatic style, lofting Namibian Deon Kotze for a straight six.

Tendulkar, meanwhile, was approaching his century, scoring at ease with some delightful strokes. Sourav also gained in confidence and hit Deon for a four and a six off successive balls in the 39th over.

Tendulkar raised the 200-run stand in breathtaking manner when he smote Deon straight so hard that Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar fell flat on all fours in a bid to avoid the scorching shot.

Tendulkarís innings was finally brought to an end in the 48th over by Van Vuuren when the batsman tried to essay a massive pull but the ball kept low and crashed on to his middle stump.

Sourav raised his 20th century in the next over having batted for 114 balls and hit six fours and three sixes. He struck one more six after that.

Facing a daunting task, Namibia were never in the race with Jawagal Srinath and Zaheer Khan bowling tight opening spells. Left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra sprained his ankle after bowling just one delivery and did not take further part in the match.

Zaheer bowled a deadly spell and repeatedly troubled batsmen with yorkers. His efforts bore fruit as he trapped two batsmen leg-before.

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