Tendulkar’s 50th century likely to be in vain

CENTURION, South Africa, (Reuters) – Sachin Tendulkar  scored his 50th test century today but it looked unlikely to  save India from losing the first test against South Africa.
Tendulkar had batted for five hours in scoring 107 not out,  sharing a defiant seventh-wicket stand of 172 with captain  Mahendra Singh Dhoni (90) as India reached 454 for eight wickets  when a storm ended play on the fourth day at Centurion.
His landmark century, which came in 258 minutes and 197  balls of great composure and technique, had helped India reduce  their deficit from 294 runs to 30, but the world’s number one  ranked team have just two wickets remaining.
Tendulkar, who is test cricket’s leading run-scorer with  14,509 in 175 matches, and the most prolific century-maker, had  hit 13 fours, mostly through the off-side with classical  strokes, and a six hammered straight back over left-arm spinner  Paul Harris’s head.
Dhoni was in belligerent mood as he belted 14 fours in his  106-ball innings, before Dale Steyn’s well-directed lifter  forced the India captain to fend a catch which wicketkeeper Mark  Boucher claimed just above his bootlaces.
Tendulkar and Dhoni had been particularly daring against the  second new ball as South Africa failed to take a wicket between  lunch and tea.
Tendulkar, 37, went from 89 to 95 when he blasted Harris for  six and soon after notched his seventh century of the year.
He raised both arms and looked skywards with a broad smile  on his face, while the South African team provided warm applause  and the Centurion crowd gave him a standing ovation.
The hosts grabbed another wicket just before the close when  Harbhajan Singh (1) edged a low catch to slip off Harris,  putting Shanthakumaran Sreesanth at the crease with Tendulkar on  three not out.
Tendulkar’s exploits took their toll on the South African  bowling figures, with spearhead Steyn having taken three for 103  in 27.2 overs, while Harris has claimed two for 88 in 30 overs.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

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