Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tendulkar Lifts India to Win vs Australia in 1st One-Day Final

Sachin Tendulkar struck an unbeaten ton to lift India to a six-wicket victory against Australia in the opening match of the best-of-three Commonwealth Bank tri- nations cricket final.

Tendulkar, 34, cracked 117 from 120 balls as India reached its target with 25 balls to spare at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where it had lost all 11 of its previous matches against the top- ranked Australians.

Matthew Hayden top-scored with 82 for Australia as it made 239-8 from its 50 overs, with a 123-run partnership from Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma helping India make 242-4.

Australia and India, who have fallen out over the past two months, meet again March 4 in Brisbane, with the third match taking place three days later in Adelaide if required.

India's tour has included rows over umpiring, sportsmanship and poor behavior, while Harbhajan Singh had a three-Test ban for racial abuse overturned on appeal when the charge was downgraded to abusive language.

Hayden last week was reprimanded by Cricket Australia for calling Harbhajan an ``obnoxious little weed'' on a Brisbane radio show.

Hayden today stabilized Australia's innings after two wickets from Praveen Kumar helped reduce the home team to 24-3. Harbhajan claimed his wicket when the opener was caught by Piyush Chawla. Mike Hussey scored 45 and Andrew Symonds hit 31.

Sharma, who scored 66, and Tendulkar lifted India from 87-3 to 210 before the 20-year-old was bowled by James Hopes. Tendulkar, the highest scorer in one-day internationals, and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wrapped up the win.

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