After having spent almost a year in international cricket, 17-year old Sachin Tendulkar earned his maiden Man of the Match award in ODIs in the 2nd match of the series against Sri Lanka at Nehru Stadium, Pune. After playing 8 ODIs without any fifty and the best score of 36, Tendulkar was struggling to cement his place in the side and finally he produced an impactful performance with both bat and ball.
Mohammad Azharuddin-led India won the toss and invited Arjuna Ranatunga captained Sri Lanka to bat at Pune in order to exploit the early damp conditions of the pitch. Also, the match was reduced to 49 overs per side. However, things looked opposite for India as the Lankans had a good decent start with both the openers Roshan Mahanama and Dammika Ranatunga having 50-plus runs stand for first wicket.
But thanks to Tendulkar’s mystery bowling, which inflicted both the wickets of Mahanama and Dammika. Tendulkar first dismissed Mahanama, caught behind by Kiran More for 24, followed by bowled wicket of Dammika for 25. Those two wickets brought India back in the contest against Sri Lanka.
Later, things took another turn with skipper Ranatunga playing a blistering knock of 27-ball 58 before getting dismissed run out, which helped India to restrict Sri Lanka at 227-8. A total of 9 overs bowled by Tendulkar, in which he conceded 39 runs with 2 important wickets.
Coming to chase, India too had an impressive start with the opening stand of 76. Navjot Singh Sidhu was the first to depart at 38, followed by Ravi Shastri for 53 at the score of 108. Sanjay Manjrekar and captain Azaruddin has arrived at the crease. However, Manjrekar too walked back soon after adding 23 with India’s score being 146 and then Tendulkar arrived at the crease.
Tendulkar along with Azharuddin started to counter-attack. The duo added 80 runs for 4th wicket stand at a brisk rate. Tendulkar sparkled his innings with 7 fours and a six in order to register his maiden ODI fifty. He scored 53 off 41 and was dismissed bowled by Graeme Labrooy, who was the most expensive bowler for Lanka in the innings. Azhar remained unbeaten at 52 off 49 along with Kapil Dev.
Tendulkar’s crucial contribution with both bat and ball at the vital moments helped India win the match by 6 wickets with 21 balls spare. For this special performance, Tendulkar was rightly adjudged for Man of the Match award and many more followed in the Little Master's illustrious career..
Sri Lanka 227-8 [Arjuna Ranatunga 58 (27), Asana Gurusinha 44 (76); Sachin Tendulkar 2-39, Arshad Ayub 2-38] lost to India 230-4 [Ravi Shastri 53 (88), Sachin Tendulkar 53 (41), Mohammad Azharuddin 52 (49)*; Graeme Labrooy 2-50, Don Anurasiri 2-44] by 6 wickets
Player of the match: Sachin Tendulkar;