Sachin Tendulkar birthday special floors Australia in 1998 Coca-Cola Cup final
Sachin Tendulkar played numerous memorable knocks throughout his 24-year marathon career. One such knock came on his birthday in 1998 that guided India to a memorable six-wicket win over the mighty Australians in the Coca-Cola Cup final in Sharjah. (Happy birthday Sachin Tendulkar: Master Blaster turns 44)Put into bat, Australia posted a challenging 272 for nine thanks to fifties from skipper Steve Waugh and Darren Lehmann. India were off to a decent start before they lost their first wicket at 39 of Sourav Ganguly for 23.However, Tendulkar and Nayan Mongia then stitched together a stand of 89 runs to keep India on track in a tough chase. After Mongia’s fall, captain Mohammad Azharuddin joined Tendulkar and the two negated the Aussie attack and put on 120-run partnership to take India close to victory.Tendulkar was the victim this time but he had already hurt the Aussies and gave India the platform for a memorable victory. A young 25-year-old Tendulkar hit 134 off 131 balls, studded with 12 fours and three sixes in his amazing knock. India won the match by six wickets and lifted the trophy.The knock came two days after the infamous ‘Desert Storm’ when he struck 143 off 131 deliveries, laced with nine fours and five towering sixes. Though India lost that game against Australia but the Master Blaster’s innings helped India qualify for the final.Tendulkar, who was born today in in 1973 in Mumbai, holds many records in the rich history of cricket, including 100 international centuries and most international runs.He made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1989 at the age of 16 years and 205 days and remains the youngest Indian to do so. He went on to play a record 200 Test matches for India in a career that lasted 24 years.advertisementThe Little Master hammered 51 Test hundreds and 49 centuries in one day internationals. He went to MRF pace academy but Australian fast bowling great Dennis Lillee advised Tendulkar to focus on his batting. The rest is history.He finished his career as the leading run-getter in international cricket, with 34,357 runs across formats — 15,921 in 200 Tests, 18426 in 463 ODIs and 10 in 1 T20 international. He played his final match of his career — his 200th Test — at his home ground in November 2013 at the Wankhede stadium when India hosted West Indies in a Test series.Tendulkar was the first player to smash a double hundred in ODIs when he struck 200 not out off 147 balls against South Africa in Gwalior on February 24, 2010.Tendulkar also played at the lucrative Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians. In 78 matches, the master blaster scored 2334 runs with the help of one century and 13 fifties.Interestingly, Tendulkar has batted thrice on his birthday and has tasted victories each time. Apart from Coca-Cup final, the batting legend has batted twice on April 24 — 28 against now-defunct IPL franchise Deccan Chargers in 2011 and 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders in 2013.