On 22 April 1998, two storms occurred in Sharjah, the first was a mountain storm, the second was a relentless force named Sachin Tendulkar.During his career, Sachin Tendulkar played many notable innings - but if you had to pick an innings that would feature him, 22 years ago it would have been his century in Sharjah. The Coca Cola Cup tri-series century against Australia and Newzealandwas a new chapter in Sachin's lucrative cricketing journey and he secured his place as the No.1 batsman of the period.For India to qualify for finals, they had to beat the net run-rate of the either two cricketing nations. India coach AnshumanGaikwad needed a miracle to make sure they reached the finals.
On that day Australia scored 284 for seven wickets which was a very difficult chase under lights. India needed 254 from 46 overs to qualify for the net run rate.Then, there was a mountain wind.The play was halted for 25 minutes when a wild sandstorm hit the stadium and reduced India's winning target from 285 to 276 in 46 and the revised qualification target was 237 in 46. It was the time of tornado from Sachin Tendulkar. He scored 143 runs playing 131 balls. The innings was hit with 9 fours and 5 sixes. It was the best ODI against one of the greatest bowling attacks of all time.
There was all the ingredients in his innings. He was cutting, dragging, hooking, paddling sweeping, stepping down the track and playing some of his trademark straight drives on the way to the magnificent hundred.As VVS Laxman, his partner during the innings, later recalled: "He was a man on a mission." Although India fell short of the victory by 26 runs, Tendulkar took them ahead of the required 237 from New Zealand and qualified for the final.
Speaking in Mumbai last year, Tendulkar said that the tournament and those hundreds were one of the most spectacular achievements of his illustrious career. "It was an experience in my case that I know how hard it was to stay there and join the world's best team," he said. 1998 was a turbulent notable year in Sachin's career - he scored 1894 ODI runs in a span of 12 months. He scored nine ODI centuries against Australia in 1998–99 season. This would be the year that established him as the most formidable, thirsty and destructive ODI batsman of the era.