98.3 Swann to Tendulkar, FOUR, there it is! What. An. Effort. That is a historic win and Tendulkar’s 41st Test century, paddles around the corner ever so emphatically and India have clinched a superb run chase by six wickets
Tendulkar pumps his arms and Yuvraj embraces him in a massive bear hug. Chennai rises and what a win. A great Test match in fact, from start to finish. This will mean so, so much to Tendulkar and India.
Really stunning scenes in Chennai. Tendulkar scores a most brilliant hundred and India India have achieved their target of 387, which is now the fourth-highest run-chase in Tests.
Let’s run some statistics for you all of you. Prior to this successful chase, the highest score chased in the fourth innings to win a match in India is 276, by the West Indies in Delhi in 1987. In Chennai, India’s 155 for 8 in the third Test against Australia in 2001 was the previous highest.
Yuvraj played an excellent hand in an unbeaten 163-run stand with 85 on Test comeback. He is all smiles. The party will go on in Chennai all night. Do not forget Sehwag’s stunning assault last evening which gave India an awesome platform.
“This is a very, very special hundred,” says Tendulkar. “To score 387 on a track where the ball was bouncing and jumping awkwardly was great. Cricket is a lesser thing compared to what happened in Mumbai and we are with those who lost their dear ones.”
Yuvraj thanks his senior partner: “Talking to him was special. My dream has come true. I have won a Test for India with Tendulkar.”
Put this up there with Adelaide, Headingley, Perth, Johannesburg, and Galle. England set India 387 and they chased it down with six wickets in hand. Where did England lose this Test after dominating so much of it? When they scored some 57 runs in a session yesterday.
Listen to this – Tendulkar’s unbeaten 103 is his first fourth-innings hundred in an Indian win. And Dhoni has now won four matches out of four.
Time for the post-match ceremony. First up is Pietersen: “A very, very bitter pill to swallow. To start Test cricket two weeks after what happened in Mumbai is terrific. I think Sehwag started the innings terrificly and we tried our hearts out. We didn’t come here to lose. The pitch was very good. There are player positives to take back for us. A fantastic performance against India.”
Now its Dhoni’s turn: “The toughest win. We were not present for the first three days of this Test, not batting well. But we won this match over the last two days. Sehwag was the play maker and without him we would have been defending this match. Sachin was brilliant and Yuvraj was amazing. It was tough on days four and five. Batting with Bhajji in the first innings was key as we reduced the lead.”
And finally its time for the Man of the Match, and it is indeed Sehwag for his 68-ball 83 on day four. “This is Sachin’s best innings I have seen,” he says. “I remember the Test loss against Pakistan here [in 1999] but today he finished the job. I always back myself to play only a few shots. If the ball is in my area I hit it. The ball was turning and bouncing but Sachin and Yuvraj batted brilliantly. I’ve played for eight years and the atmosphere in the dressing room now is brilliant. We believe we can do anything.”