Sachin Tendulkar scores his 1st ODI fifty and earns his 1st Man of the Match award

It was not just another One-Day International (ODI) match being played between India and Sri Lanka at Nehru Stadium in Pune. In this match the then 17-year-old Sachin Tendulkar scored his first half-century in limited-overs format. It was almost a year since he made his debut in ODIs and was still striving to cement his place in the side.

That was the second ODI of the three-match series, where India were leading with 1-0. Winning the toss, India invited Sri Lanka to bat first to exploit the early damp conditions of the pitch. But Sri Lanka’s steady start almost proved India’s decision of bowling first was wrong till the Arjuna Ranatunga-Asanka Gurusinha partnership was broken. Ranatunga scored a scintillating 27-ball 58. After them, Lanka’s batting line-up collapsed and could only reach a total of 227.

In reply, India came out hard with quick start by their openers Navjot Singh Sidhu and Ravi Shastri, but after they their dismissal Sanjay Manjrekar and captain Mohammad Azharuddin were struggling against Lankan spin attack. Soon, Manjrekar too got out and young Tendulkar arrived at the crease. He did not waste much time and started accelerating. Azharuddin too got the hang of things and both completed their half-centuries in quick time. Tendulkar completed his fifty from 40 balls with seven fours and a six but got out when the scores were level. The young Mumbai lad lost the opportunity to strike the winning runs as Azharuddin ended the match with his final stroke and India registered its second ODI victory under his captaincy.

Despite of Ranatunga scoring the fastest fifty of the match, Tendulkar was awarded the Man of the Match award, which was also the first of his career.