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Tendulkar becomes first to score 200 in ODIs
GWALIOR, India |
GWALIOR, India (Reuters) - Sachin Tendulkar dedicated his record 200 not out to the cricket-crazy people of his country after he became the first batsman to score a double century in one-day internationals on Wednesday.
Tendulkar, who opens the batting in ODIs, achieved the landmark in the second one-dayer against South Africa, his magnificent knock guiding the home team to 401-3 in 50 overs.
India won the match by 153 runs to take a winning 2-0 lead in the series after they bowled out the tourists for 248.
"I'd like to dedicate this double hundred to the people of India who have stood by me no matter what for the last 20 years," man of the match Tendulkar said at the prize-giving ceremony.
"There have been ups and downs, but they have supported me."
Tendulkar has carried the expectations of a nation of 1.2 billion people since his debut as a curly-haired 16-year-old in 1989. Now 36, he holds the record for most runs in tests (13,447) and one-day internationals (17,598) and most centuries in tests (47) and ODIs (46).
Tendulkar hit 200 off 147 balls with 25 fours and three sixes in a masterly effort that combined poise with raw power.
The former India captain reached the landmark with a single off Charl Langeveldt in the final over after moving past the previous record score of 194 jointly held by Pakistan's Saeed Anwar and Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry with a two off pacer Wayne Parnell.
"I thought about the 200 mark for the first time when I was probably 175 plus and only 32 overs had been bowled," Tendulkar said.
"I felt I had a chance but I didn't make it my aim until I got really close. Only then I thought there was an opportunity to be had."
Tendulkar's previous highest one-day individual score was 186 not out against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999.
"I thought I could take the singles and give (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni the strike, because he was striking the ball very well," said Tendulkar who put on 101 for the unbroken fourth wicket with the captain.
"As for the way the body is coping, it feels good that I lasted 50 overs and it has been a good test of my fitness," said Tendulkar who scored a century in each of the two tests in the drawn series against South Africa earlier this month.
"I'd like to bat for another 50 overs at some stage and ensure the fitness levels don't drop."
Anwar made 194 against India in May 1997 while Coventry hit the same total not out against Bangladesh last year.
"It was a brilliant innings and if you speak to Saeed Anwar, he would be so glad Tendulkar was the one to break his record," Anwar's opening partner Aamir Sohail told Times Now TV.
"We all know how talented and how passionate he is about the game but it's incredible that at the age of 36 he is still going on, he plays the full 50 overs, runs hard and at no point during this knock did he look like he was going to throw his wicket away."
Coventry said he was happy to be tucked behind Tendulkar.
"I was very proud to have held the record for a little while but there could be no better man in the history of the game to break through the 200 barrier," Coventry told Reuters.
"Zimbabwe versus Bangladesh; Tendulkar, India versus South Africa. Not quite in the same bracket, are they?"
(Reporting by Sanjay Rajan in Chennai; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)
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