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Still, they dreaded one name on the Indian team sheet -- Sachin R Tendulkar. The stage was set for a thrilling encounter as Australia won the toss and put India to bat in the 3rd qualifier of the Champions Trophy 1998 in Dhaka.
Often accused of not being a match winner, Sachin took on Michael Kasprowicz from the very first delivery thrown at him. Steve Waugh failed to assess the Little Master's strategy and put too much emphasis on pace bowling, considering Sourav Ganguly and Md Azharuddin had fallen prey to fast bowlers in the first three over of the game.
Just when the Australians thought they were in the driver's seat after reducing India to 8/2, Tendulkar blasted 141 off 128 balls against the mighty Australians.
Although it was the 300th ODI appearance of Md Azharuddin, but it was the Master Blaster who stole the show. Tendulkar's herculean effort was studded with 13 fours and three sixes at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Rahul Dravid and Ajay Jadeja chipped in and made valuable contributions, and the Australians were set a daunting target of 308.
In reply, Australia collapsed for 263 with only Mark Waugh putting up a fighting score of 74. Most of the batsmen succumbed to the the pressure of chasing a mammoth target, and became victims of Tendulkar's off-breaks and leg-breaks.
In his 9.1 overs, Tendulkar claimed four wickets and knocked Australia out of the tournament. He was declared the Man of the Match for his absolute dominance in the game.
This performance is one of the most cherished ones of Tendulkar's career. He rose to the occasion by fighting an unassisted battle and led India to victory against then dominating Australia.