Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘desert storm’ knocks against Australia in the 1998 Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah have gone down in the annals of cricket as among the finest ODI innings’ ever played. The first of these knocks came on April 22nd, 1998, when India were chasing a target of 285 runs in the second innings of their last round robin match against Australia, but more importantly needed 254 to qualify for the final of the tournament by going above New Zealand’s net run rate.
Enter Sachin Tendulkar, who hit 143 off just 131 balls two days before his 25th birthday to comfortably allow India to qualify for the final. However, the situation of the Indian innings during Tendulkar’s knock was periodically far from comfortable, as the team kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Tendulkar was the glue that held the innings together, and was ably supported by Nayan Mongia (who was India’s highest scorer after him). Midway through the innings, the match was halted because of a sandstorm. When the match resumed, it was reduced to a 46 over game, and the score required to qualify for the final was reduced by 17 runs to 237. Even though the Indian innings wrapped up at 250 for 6, the job of qualifying for the final was complete.
Watch Tendulkar’s famous knock below!