On this day in 1998: Sachin Tendulkar played an epic “Desert storm” knock against Australia at Sharjah

Exactly 23 years ago, on this day India legend Sachin Tendulkar played one of the most memorable innings of his life as he smashed 143 against an attack featuring the likes of Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium as temperatures reached a maximum of 41 degrees Celsius.

Exactly 23 years ago, on this day India legend Sachin Tendulkar played one of the most memorable innings of his life as he smashed 143 against an attack featuring the likes of Shane Warne, Damien Fleming and Michael Kasprowicz at Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium as temperatures reached a maximum of 41 degrees Celsius.

Credit: Web

Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Desert Storm’ knock could still give many Indian cricket fans a huge smile. In the blazing month of April, Sachin Tendulkar played two of the most prolific knocks of his career within a span of 48 hours to first help India qualify for the finals of the tri-series and then thump Australia in the finals of the tri-series, which also involved New Zealand. Such was the impact and quality of these knocks that people still cherish it even after 23 years.

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That innings became known as the ‘Desert Storm’ knock after play was suspended for 25 minutes while a wild sand storm swept through the stadium and reduced India’s victory target from 285 in 50 overs to 277 in 46.

Batting first, Australia had scored 284/7 owing to Michael Bevan’s knock of 101 runs. However, the target was adjusted to 276 for India from 46 overs due to a sandstorm.

Tendulkar’s knock was not able to make India win the match, but it ensured the Men in Blue’s entry into the finals of the tournament.

Chasing 276, India lost its opening wicket of Sourav Ganguly (17) in the ninth over of the innings. Tendulkar found some support in Nayan Mongia (35) and Mohammad Azharuddin (14), but later he carried the entire Indian chase on his shoulders. The Master Blaster went on to play a knock of 143 runs and he was finally sent back to the pavilion in the 43rd over by Damien Fleming.

After his dismissal, India was not able to chase down the desired target. This innings by Tendulkar is famously referred to as ‘Desert Storm’ as the Master Blaster tore into the Australian bowling attack at Sharjah and the match was also stopped due to the sandstorm.

India was restricted to just 250 runs in 46 overs, and lost the match by 26 runs.

In the finals, India and Australia clashed again and it was Tendulkar who played a match-winning knock for India.

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Chasing 273 in the finals, Tendulkar played a knock of 134 runs to give India a win by six wickets.
Tendulkar had made his debut for India at the age of 16 in 1989. He aggregated 34,357 runs across formats, which is 6,000 runs more than the second-placed former Sri Lanka cricketer Kumar Sangakkara.

Regarded as one of the greatest batsmen ever, Tendulkar holds the record of being the highest run-scorer of all time in international cricket, having notched up 18,426 runs in ODIs and 15,921 runs in Test matches.

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