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First final: Sachin's ton help India win

Agencies

Posted: Mar 02, 2008 at 1701 hrs IST
      

Sydney, March 2:: Sachin Tendulkar cracked his first one-day century on Australian soil as an inspired India spanked the World Champions by six wickets in the first match of the best-of-three finals in the one-day cricket tri-series here.

After the Indian bowlers put up a disciplined performance to restrict Australia to 239 for eight, Tendulkar (117 not out) batted like a true champion as he not only notched up his 42nd ODI century but shouldered the responsibility to steer India home with 25 balls to spare.

The 34-year-old champion batsman, who has not been in the best of forms in the tri-series, could not have found a better time to make a statement with his bat, breaking the jinx of not having an ODI century on Austsralian soil in the process.

Tendulkar, who defied a groin injury in the later part of his innings, found an able ally in young Rohit Sharma (66) as the duo added 123 runs for the fourth wicket to pull India out of a spot of bother at 87 for three and put the team on course for a remarkable victory in a thrilling floodlit contest at the SGC.

It was a stunning exhibition of skill and composure by the Indians who relied on a heady mix of youth and experience to dominate the proceedings from the very first ball.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the winning runs by clobbering a boundary to trigger off scenes of wild celebration among Indian fans in the galleries.

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