WELLINGTON // Sachin Tendulkar scored his first one day international century in New Zealand, the 43rd of his career, to help India to a mammoth 392 for four in the third one day international in Christchurch on Sunday. Exploiting the short boundaries at Lancaster Park, Tendulkar stroked his way to 163 before he was forced to retire hurt after apparently pulling a stomach muscle. Tendulkar smashed 16 boundaries and five sixes, the last of which went over extra cover and caused his departure from the field.
The 35-year-old shared a brutal 138-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh (87) and a 135-run stand with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (68) to help India post their highest one day score against New Zealand. It was also the highest one day score posted by any side in New Zealand, surpassing the 350 for nine the home side scored against Australia in Hamilton in Feb 2007. Suresh Raina smashed 38, which included five sixes, from 18 balls, while Yusuf Pathan made one not out.
Tendulkar, Yuvraj and Dhoni made a mockery of the New Zealand bowlers and, such was the brutality of their attack, Tendulkar and Yuvraj racked up 69 runs in a batting power play from the 23rd to 27th overs. Yuvraj blasted 10 boundaries and six sixes in his 60-ball innings before he was well caught by the wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan, who was standing up to medium-pacer Grant Elliott. McGlashan blotted his copybook, however, when he missed an easy chance to stump Dhoni off Jeetan Patel when the Indian captain had made just five runs.
Elliott also dropped Tendulkar when the batsman was on 122. Dhoni brought up his 30th one-day international half century off just 45 balls before he skied a catch that was well held by McGlashan off Kyle Mills in the penultimate over. Virender Sehwag was bowled by Mills for three, while Gautam Gambhir was caught by McGlashan off Ian Butler for 15 after sharing in a 50-run partnership with Tendulkar.
New Zealand were hampered by the absence of captain Daniel Vettori, who missed the game to attend the birth of his first child in Auckland, and a muscle strain suffered by Butler after he had bowled just five overs. Tim Southee conceded 105 runs off his 10 overs. *Reuters