A blow-by-blow account of Sachin Tendulkar’s 98
1st over — Wasim Akram. Third ball. Driven to cover fence
2nd over — Shoaib Akhtar. Fourth ball, six over third man. Next ball, flicked to square leg for four. Then, straight drive to the long-on boundary. End of Shoaib’s first spell: 1-0-18-0
3rd over — Plays five dot balls off Akram
4th over — Waqar Younis. Last ball, flicks to square leg for four. 39 for no loss
5th over — 50 without loss.
6th over — Waqar. Sehwag goes. Next ball, Sourav goes.
7th over — Akram. Third ball, slices it to mid-off. Razzaq leaps, but can’t hold on. Life at 32, just as against Namibia
8th over — Waqar. Punches it to mid-on, runs four, adding injury to Shoaib’s insult
9th over — Akram. Checked off-drive through mid-off. Arguably shot of match
10th over — Waqar, with short cover and short mid-wicket. Gets to 50 off 37 balls, with a drive between cover and mid-off. 7 fours, 2 sixes (one a couple, plus an overthrown four). 88 for 2.
11th over — Shoaib back. Faces the last ball, despatches it to the mid-off boundary, again. Nine off the over.
13th over — Shoaib ends second spell. 3-0-35-0.
15th over — 120 for 2
16th over — Shahid Afridi. Develops cramps.
17th over — Abdul Razzaq. Straight drive, the ball passes the stumps where Akram, bowling over the wicket, would be in delivery stride.
18th over — Afridi. Plays and misses outside off. 136 for 2.
20th over — Afridi. Crosses 12,000 runs in One-Day cricket, with a four to mid-on. Shoaib runs to ropes, in vain.
21st over — Straight drives, Razzaq puts right hand down, stops the ball but splits his bowling finger and starts bleeding. 150 for 2.
22nd over — Afridi. 100 partnership with Kaif, off 97 balls, Kaif goes.
25th over — Razzaq. Drives between cover and mid-off. 93 off 66 balls. (Is limping, but refuses a runner, despite Sehwag’s exhortations from players’ gallery.)
26th over — Shoaib returns for third spell. Shoulders drooping, looking lost, goes for only two runs.
27th over— Afridi. Takes a single, to reach 98. In obvious pain, sits on haunches, winces, possibly saying he can’t continue. Andrew Leipus runs out for the second time.
28th over — Shoaib. Sehwag comes in as the runner. Limps from square leg to take guard. Shoaib’s ball of the tournament. Just short of a length, jumps up and jags back at his face. Fends off. Balloons to point. Younis Khan dives to bring off a brilliant catch.
Begins to hobble off SuperSport Park. Pakistanis rejoice around Shoaib. Younis Khan hurls a parting abuse at Sachin. Poor Younis, he didn’t know how close he was standing to greatness.