Super Sachin breaks run barrier

Super Sachin breaks run barrier

Batting maestro becomes first to score ODI double century

Super Sachin breaks run barrier

Without warning, on a memorable Wednesday at the Captain Roop Singh stadium, Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to top 200 in 50-over cricket, turning the clock back in exhilarating fashion as he sent South Africa on a hiding to nothing in the second one-day international.

At 36, supposedly on the last legs of an international career well into its 21st year, Tendulkar ventured into uncharted territory with a mesmerising exhibition of electric strokeplay, his 46th one-day century rapidly burgeoning into the first double hundred in one-day international number 2962.

For the first half of his innings, he was the silken destroyer, finding the gaps with ridiculous ease.  Post-three figures, he exploded like only he can, leaving South Africa in a daze and 25,000-plus fans in sheer delirium as he kept his tryst with destiny.

For almost four decades, some of the most exceptional batsmen in the history of the game have threatened to touch the 200-run mark in one-day cricket, but apart from Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry, no one came even close.

The left-handed Pakistani and the bespectacled Zimbabwean both ended up one beefy hit into the stands away from the promised land; Tendulkar wasn’t to be denied, grace, timing and fierce power fusing brilliantly as the ball sped to all corners of the ground with unerring regularity.

As skipper, Tendulkar had had a first-hand taste of what it feels like to be at the receiving end when Anwar blasted his way to 194 in the Independence Cup clash in Chennai in 1997.

This time around, he donned the cloak of the tormentor with finesse, making the most of excellent batting conditions to move to within one record of possessing all the individual marks in international cricket.

For the maker of the most Test and one-day runs and centuries, Wednesday’s unbeaten 200 has to be the icing on the cake. Brian Lara’s Test best 400 not out should be the next target, and however fanciful it might sound, you just can’t put it past the Little Master to get there, too.

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