Tendulkar steals the show

''We've kept Sachin (Tendulkar) in check so far. His scoring rate hasn't been too extravagant.''

Ricky Ponting, November 2.''SO FAR'' proved to be the crucial words in Australian captain Ricky Ponting's appraisal of India's ''Little Master'' after game four of the one-day series, because in game five the 36-year-old responded with the second-highest score in his 435 one-day internationals.The only disappointment for India surrounding the glorious innings is that his 175 was still not enough to drag the home side to victory.And while the game didn't quite match the spectacle of the famous 872-run contest between South Africa and Australia at the Wanderers in 2006, it came close.When Australia posted 4-350 against India on Thursday night, the home side's chances of victory looked remote. But when India needed only 19 from the last three overs, having scored more than seven an over for its first 47, Australia's unloseable match seemed destined to be lost.Then came four wickets in 15 deliveries, including the scalp of Tendulkar, that allowed Australia to leave the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium with a three-run victory - and a 3-2 lead in the seven-match series.''I don't think we did a lot wrong in the game,'' Ponting said. ''Sachin's innings would've been something that would've stolen the game from us. We did enough right in the game to win, and we got across the line at the very end. I can tell you now that the guys, even though we probably fought our way out of jail a little in the last half of the game, we were as excited out there and back in the rooms as we have been for any win that we've had.''With nine Australia players unavailable due to injury - the majority being first-choice inclusions when fit - Ponting was even more thrilled to have won with what he agreed was close to an Australia A side.''That's what I'm most proud of. With everything that's happened over the last couple of weeks, for us to keep finding ways to win games says a lot about the team, a lot about the individual players and the way we go about it,'' he said.''I actually asked the guys for a little bit extra today, asked them to be really brave and to play the best form of cricket they possibly could and just back themselves at every opportunity. I thought the first half of the game with our batting we did that to a tee, and I think even in the last half of the game with the bowling we did that really well, so a great day for us.''


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