GWALIOR: Milestone man Sachin Tendulkar re-wrote the record books on Wednesday, hammering the first double century in the history of one-day cricket to add another feather to his well-adorned cap.
The capacity crowd at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium witnessed history on Wednesday as Tendulkar, statistically the greatest batsman the game has ever seen, pushed a Charl Langeveldt delivery through the off-side and ran a single to achieve a feat which no other cricketer has achieved.
One-day international cricket, since its 1971 inception, had to wait nearly four decades to see a batsman score 200. The previous best mark was shared by Zimbabwean Charles Coventry (194 not out against Bangladesh in 2009) and Pakistan's Saeed Anwar (194 against India in 1997).
As the crowd erupted with unbridled joy, Tendulkar, tired but composed, took off his helmet, looked skyward, closed his eyes to offer a silent prayer.
His captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni came down from the striker's end to shake hands and hug him.
And as Tendulkar set on his way back to the pavilion after the completion of the Indian innings, a tumultuous celebration greeted him.
The crowd gave him a standing ovation as the entire stadium erupted in euphoria while his teammates were simply ecstatic as they clapped and hugged each other, basking in the glory of their senior teammates.
Tendulkar batted like a man with a mission on Wednesday and the South African bowlers simply had no clue where to bowl.
Once he crossed the 150-mark, the crowd anticipated something special and Tendulkar did not let them down.
A six off Roelof van der Merwe took him past Kapil Dev's 175 not out and in the next over, he hit Jacques Kallis for a four to equal his previous best of 186 not out that had come against New Zealand in Hyderabad in 1999.
The crowd got restless as Tendulkar approached the 194-run mark and a couple off Wayne Parnell saw him eclipse it.
His teammates and spectators were on the edge of their seat with a double century round the corner but with Dhoni going berserk at the striker's end and facing most of the deliveries, it was an agonising wait for all.
Dhoni took singles off the final deliveries of the 47th-49th overs and Tendulkar finally took strike with four balls left in the innings.
The first ball he received from Langeveldt was steered past point and Tendulkar ran for a single to remain unbeaten after an unforgettable unbeaten 200 that came off just 147 balls with 25 fours and three sixes in it.
It was yet another milestone for the man, who has some 30,000 international runs under his belt, including 93 centuries (47 in Tests and 46 in ODIs).
Sachin Tendulkar's 200 was an once in a life time innings. So we are reliving the magic knock as we bring to you all his 25 fours, 3 sixes and some important milestones as we dig into our ball-by-ball commentary section. Sit back and have a treat.
Four No.1 - 1.3 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, half volley outside off, Tendulkar opens the face of the bat and drives it to extra cover, beats the fielder and he's off the mark with a sensational boundary
Four No.2 - 1.4 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, poor bowling this, fuller length delivery straying on the pads, Tendulkar closes the face of the bat and flicks it to deep mid wicket, consecutive boundaries for the little master
Four No.3 - 2.6 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, he's looking in fine touch, fuller length delivery straying on the pads, Tendulkar flicks it to deep mid wicket, another boundary, the timing on that one was absolutely superb
Four No.4 - 4.3 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, trifle short and Tendulkar is quick to pick that up, goes for the full blooded pull, picks the gap to perfection, between mid wicket and square leg for another boundary
Four No.5 - 6.2 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, pitched up outside off, Tendulkar drives it on the up, clears the infield and the ball races away to the boundary square of the wicket on the off side
Four No.6 - 7.2 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, that's a cracking shot!!! a lot fuller outside off, Tendulkar gets a long stride forward and drives it to sweeper cover, that went like a rocket, reached the boundary in no time
Four No.7 - 9.1 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, fabulous shot!!! Parnell comes round the wicket, pitches it outside off, Tendulkar drives it on the off side, pierces the gap between point and cover, What an innings we are witnessing here!!
Four No.8 - 9.6 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, Oh dear!! he's done it again, fuller length delivery outside off, Tendulkar squeezes it behind the fielder at point, the ball reached the boundary ropes before Steyn could get to it
Four No.9 - 11.4 Merwe to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, straying onto the pads once again, all he needed was a tickle past short fine leg, which he does, the fielder fumbles and the ball races away for him to get past his 94th ODI fifty
Four No.10 - 14.3 Langeveldt to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, that is as effortless as it can get. It was a length delivery on middle, he just helps it over mid on, once bounce into the fence, thank you very much he says
Four No.11 - 15.2 Merwe to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, tossed up on middle, he goes inside out over cover, gets the middle of the bat and a couple of bounces into the fence, terrific batting!
Four No.12 - 19.6 van der Merwe to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, he has made the last ball count, gets to the pitch of the ball and smokes it over cover, gets enough bat on that and the ball whistles into the boundary!
Four No.13 - 21.3 van der Merwe to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, tossed up delivery down the leg, Tendulkar closes the face of the bat and tickles it down to fine leg, that one had enough bat on it to reach the ropes
Hundredth run - 27.6 Duminy to Tendulkar, 1 run, there comes the run that was needed, Tendulkar gets to his 46th CENTURY!!, this is his 4th against SA, short and wide, Tendulkar cuts it to sweeper cover
Four No. 14 - 28.1 Kallis to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, back of a length delivery on off, Tendulkar swings his arm and whacks it over mid wicket, that went to the boundary like a rocket
Four No.15 - 28.3 Kallis to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, that's one of the best shots he has played today, they've all been good though, fuller length delivery bowler a lot slower, Tendulkar lofts it over the bowler's head, straight down the ground and another boundary to his tally
Six No.1 - 31.2 Duminy to Tendulkar, SIX!!, it was nicely tossed up, he gets to the pitch of the ball and smacks him over long on, high and handsome, sails into the crowd, goes a long way back and the crowd are on their feet
Four No.16 - 31.6 Duminy to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, that was smacked over the bowler's head with immense power, had he got a hand on it, probably he would have been blown away with the ball into the boundary, fantastic batting this, has been a treat so far!
Four No.17 - 34.2 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, juicy full toss on the pads and he just helps it on its way wide of short fine leg, he knew exactly where the fielders were
Four No.18 - 34.5 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, the work of a genuis out in the centre says LSRK. Wow! That was one hell of a stroke, gets across and fetches it towards deep mid wicket, not many can pull it off like that, into the boundary in a flash
Four No.19 - 35.5 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, there is no stopping that, once that left the bat it was only heading to the boundary. Just backs away and picks up the length delivery over cover, awesome stuff!
Four No.20 - 36.4 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, this is top class stuff, vintage Tendulkar! Fetches the ball from outside off and into the mid wicket boundary, what timing, can't get better than this
Four No.21 - 36.6 Steyn to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, there is no stopping him today, that has been dismissed into the boundary over point, no respect for the bowler what so ever!
Four No.22 - 37.3 Parnell to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, at this stage it doesn't matter who the bowler is, the ball is only destined one way and that is to the boundary. Picks the ball from outside off and flicks it superbly into the vacant spaces at deep mid wicket to get past his 150
Four No.23 - 38.1 Langeveldt to Tendulkar, FOUR!!, full and wide outside off, he reaches out, opens the face of the bat at the last moment, slides it in the gap between a ring of fielders on the off side, truly classy, exceptional shot, raced away to the fence!
Six No.2 - 40.6 Langeveldt to Tendulkar, SIX!! What a shot! Tendulkar fetches a full delivery from outside off and smashes it almost effortlessly over wide long on, superb timing!
Four No.24 - 41.5 van der Merwe to Tendulkar, FOUR!! Fine shot! Full delivery on the stumps, he clears the front leg and blasts that over the bowler's head, zoomed away into the fence
Six No.3 - 41.6 van der Merwe to Tendulkar, SIX!! Tendulkar's on a roll here! van der Merwe fired this one much quicker, Tendulkar got the front foot out of the way and just bludgeoned it through the line, clearing long off with ease!
Four No.25 - 42.6 Kallis to Tendulkar, FOUR!! Doesn't miss out on this full toss! Kallis slides onto the pads and Tendulkar rolls his wrists over it nicely, placing the ball behind square to equal his highest score
The big moment when he surpassed Saeed Anwar - 45.3 Parnell to Tendulkar, 2 runs, And there it is! Tendulkar has broken the record for the highest score in an ODI, clipping the ball off his toes to backward square, pushing hard for the second and completing it...Boucher pats him on the back for his achievement...the 200 beckons!
The Seminal moment in the history of ODI Cricket - 49.3 Langeveldt to Tendulkar, 1 run, Sachin's done it! A full and wide ball, he dabs it wide of point to complete his 200, becoming the first player ever to score a double ton in an ODI...what a magnificent player! No words are enough to describe this man... maybe the following picture will!
All I can say is... I was alive when God was playing!