Cricket: Tendulkar in control

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SACHIN TENDULKAR turned in a superb all-round performance as India overcame Australia by 44 runs in the day-night Wills international Cup quarter-final in Dhaka yesterday.

The former Yorkshire player hit 141 off only 127 balls - his 19th one- day century - to lead India to a formidable 307 for 8 in their 50 overs. Then he entered the attack and weighed in with 4 for 38 with his slow bowling as Australia surrendered a seemingly strong position of 145 for 1 in the 26th over and collapsed to 263 all out with 11 balls remaining.

It made it a formality that Tendulkar would pick up the man of the match award as India marched into the semi- finals in front of a capacity 40,000 crowd. He raced to three figures off only 94 balls with 12 fours and two sixes to rescue India from a shaky start of 8 for 2 - with Mohammad Azharuddin dismissed for a duck in his 300th one-day international.

Tendulkar shared in partnerships of 140 for the third wicket with Rahul Dravid and then 132 for the fourth wicket with India's vice-captain, Ajay Jadeja.

Dravid (48) and Jadeja, who hammered 71 off 65 balls, provided the perfect foil for Tendulkar and India looked on course for a score of around 340 to 350 at one stage. But after Tendulkar's dismissal - run out when sent back after looking for a second run - the Australians fought back and in the final five overs they conceded just 28 runs and picked up a flurry of wickets.

Australia made a positive start, with their openers Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh, who went on to make a top score of 74, putting on 51 in nine overs. They were virtually up with the scoring rate at the half-way stage at 141 for 1 - but then they subsided in rapid fashion towards defeat.

WILLS INTERNATIONAL CUP (Dhaka, Bangladesh) Quarter-final: India 307 for 8 (S R Tendulkar 141, A D Jadeja 71; Australia 263 (M E Waugh 74, Tendulkar 4-34). India win by 44 runs.