On This Day: Sachin Tendulkar records his career-best bowling figures

In the very first game of the Triangular Series 1997-98 (India, Australia, Zimbabwe), which was held on April 1, 1998, India clinched a 41-run victory over the Australians, courtesy to Ajay Jadeja and Sachin Tendulkar. The expectations from Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar were high in the game. He entered the game with an average of 111.50 in the Test series that India had played against Australia prior to the triangular series.

Tendulkar turns the game with the ball

Winning the toss, Navjot Sidhu and Tendulkar opened the game for India. The openers couldn’t stand against the Australian bowler Michael Kasprowicz, as he dismissed him both for 1(8) and 8(11) respectively. It was Ajay Jadeja’s magnificent knock of 105(109), and Mohammad Azharuddin’s 82(91), that helped India post a target of 310 runs for Australia to chase. Hrishikesh Kanitkar’s half-century also played a crucial role.

Sachin stood up to India’s expectations as he went on to register his career-best ODI figures of 5/32. He dismissed the Australian lower order, which included some of the biggest names of Australian cricket. He dismissed Michael Bevan, giving India the much-needed breakthrough as the Australian had crossed his 50-run mark.

He then went on to add the wickets of Steve Waugh, Darren Lehmann, Tom Moody, and Damien Martyn to his scalp and achieved the best bowling figures. His brilliant spell helped India to restrict the Australians at 268 as they were all bowled out in the 46th over of the game. Bevan, 65(82) was the top scorer for the Aussies, and 268 was the best that they could make.

Australia stumble

While at a point in time, Australia was well-settled in the game at 202/3, it was Tendulkar who created destruction on the field with his mix of off-spin and medium pace spells. He was also awarded the Player of the Match award for this spell. It was Australia’s scariest nightmare coming true, in the form of Sachin Tendulkar.

Though he did not fire with the bat, he had his all-around skills to showcase. He came into the game just when India needed it, as the Aussies were sailing past the score. As a result, India won the game by a margin of 41-runs, but it was the Australians who won the Triangular series in the end.