On this day in 2010: Sachin Tendulkar completes half-century of Test centuries

Sachin Tendulkar and records are inseparably attached. From the highest number of centuries in ODIs and Tests to the most number of runs in both formats; from the most number of international appearances in both formats to the most number of runs against all oppositions, you name any record and Tendulkar’s name comes on top.

And no wonder, the mind-boggling amount of cricket he played, after a time, he would name a record just by stepping on the field one more time. In Tests, Tendulkar’s ability to score runs against the best opposition attacks made him the absolute gold standard. And the 19th of December 2010 was another day when he added one more feather to his feather-filled cap.

With a single off Dale Steyn on this day in 2010, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar reached a landmark that was at one point in time considered unattainable. That one run took him to his 50th century in the longest format of the game, on day four of the Centurion Test match against South Africa. Tendulkar not only became the first but to this day stands as the only cricketer to reach 50 Test centuries.

South Africa dominate the proceedings

As for the match, India had gotten off to a deplorable start on a lush, green top, which had ample assistance for the quicks with plenty of rain heading into the build-up. South Africa won a crucial toss and chose to field as Morne Morkel, and Dale Steyn scalped 5 and 3 wickets, respectively, to bundle India out for 136. In response, South Africa crushed Indian bowlers as they amassed a massive 620 for 4 declared, courtesy of a magnificent unbeaten double century from Jacques Kallis (201*). En route to his knock, Kallis was involved in two double-century stands of 230 and 224 with Hashim Amla (140) and AB de Villiers (129), respectively.

Trailing by a massive margin of 484 runs, India put up a better show in the second innings, with Gautam Gambhir (80) and Virender Sehwag (63) giving India a solid platform, whereas Rahul Dravid (43) showed his trademark resistance to lead India into revival. However, a lower-middle order collapse saw India succumbing once again. Dhoni and Tendulkar joined hands to revive India’s fortunes, however, despite their resolute 172-run stand for the seventh wicket and Tendulkar’s unbeaten 111, which included 13 fours and a six, the duo could not prevent an innings defeat as India were dismissed for 459 and went onto lose the game by an innings and 25 runs.