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|Hasim Amla and Alvero Petersen congratulate Tendulkar on his double century [AFP]|
India’s ‘Little Master’ Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to score a double century in one-day internationals as he steered India to an unassailable 2-0 series lead against South Africa.
Tendulkar, who opens the batting in ODIs, achieved the feat in the second one-dayer against the Proteas at Roop Singh Stadium, hitting 200 not out to guide the home team to 401-3 in 50 overs.
India won by 153 runs to seal the three-match series with a game to spare.
Tendulkar reached 200 with a single off Charl Langeveldt in the final over of India’s innings, having earlier broken the world record for the highest individual score of 194 jointly made by Zimbabwe’s Charles Coventry against Bangladesh in Bulawayo last August and Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar against India at Chennai in May 1997.
South Africa, who lost the first match by 1 run, were all out for 248 in the 43rd over despite a fighting unbeaten 114 by AB de Villiers.
The 30,000-strong crowd went wild as Tendulkar surpassed the previous highest score in one-dayers with two off fast bowler Wayne Parnell behind short fine leg in the 46th over.
Tendulkar, who scored centuries in both Tests against South Africa this month, reached 200 off just 147 balls with 25 fours and three sixes.
Tendulkar’s previous highest one-day individual score was 186 not out against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999.
The 36-year-old former India captain holds the record for most runs in Tests (13,447) and one-day internationals (17,598) and most centuries in Tests (47) and ODIs (46).
Tendulkar put on a magnificent performance, smashing runs from the Proteas bowling almost at will with some dazzling cover drives and pull shots.
He punished Parnell for two successive boundaries in the first over he faced, and cricket’s greatest international run maker brought up his 46th one-day century in 90 balls in the 28th over.
He was involved in a record 194-run second-wicket partnership for India with Dinesh Karthik, who scored 79 off 85 balls.
South Africa innings
Tendulkar was not the only batsman performing well. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had a 35-ball knock of 68 to further illustrate India’s domination.
Virender Sehwag was dismissed in the fourth over as he slashed hard at a delivery from Parnell, trying to clear the third man boundary.
He was caught by Dale Steyn for 9 at 25-1, bringing in Karthik to join Tendulkar.
India reached 100 in the 15th over, 200 in the 31st, and 300 in the 41st in posting the ninth highest total in one-day history.
South Africa faced other problems on the field as well. JP Duminy injured his left palm as he tried to stop a powerful drive from Tendulkar on the off side in the fourth over.
He later went on to bowl with a bandaged palm and came in for punishment from Tendulkar and Karthik.
Langeveldt also was hit by the ball and suffered a cut above his left eye, but he continued to bowl as runs rained from the blade of Tendulkar.
Parnell claimed 2-95, but the least expensive bowler was Roelof van der Merwe with 1-62 in his 10 overs.
South Africa, batting under the pressure of a massive total, were virtually out of contention when they lost six wickets for just 103, before being all out for 248.
AB de Villiers top-scored with a fighting 114 not out for his fifth one-day hundred, hitting two sixes and 13 fours in his 101-ball knock.
Paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth bagged three wickets, while seamer Ashish Nehra, and spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan, took two apiece.
India won the first match by one run on Sunday and the final match will be played in Ahmedabad on Saturday.