Centurion, South Africa: Sachin Tendulkar became the first player to score 50 Test centuries as India held up South Africa’s march towards victory on Day 4 of the first Test at Centurion on Sunday.
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Tendulkar pushed a drive through extra-cover for a single soon after tea to move to 100 off 197 balls and his landmark century.
The 37-year-old, who made his first Test hundred as a 17-year-old against England in 1990, is now 11 centuries ahead of his closest competitor —Australia’s Ricky Ponting.
Tendulkar called his 50th test century “just another number” and said he was dedicating it to his late father and all his supporters.
Tendulkar’s century, with 12 fours and a six, came in a gritty fourth-day fightback from India at SuperSport Park after the top-ranked test team faced a huge 484-run first-innings deficit and had slipped to 277 for the loss of six wickets at lunch in its second innings— still 207 runs short of South Africa’s first-innings 620/4 declared.
India were bowled out for 136 in the first innings, with Tendulkar top-scoring with 36.
Tendulkar (107 not out) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (90) put on 172 for the seventh wicket and hold up the Proteas for a minute short of three hours.
It was almost certainly not enough to save the team from defeat, with India finishing the day on 454/8 in their second innings, still 30 runs short of making South Africa bat again.
Tendulkar marked his hundred with a low punch in the air, and then removed his helmet to glance up at the sky before acknowledging the crowd’s cheers.
AFP and Reuters contributed to this story.