New Delhi: India were in a tough spot after losing to South Africa and Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup and needed a win against Kenya to go through to the Super Sixes. Sachin Tendulkar’s status as India’s talisman was undisputed by then and it was the Little Master who provided inspiration for his team with his 22nd ODI ton.
The knock was an emotional one for Tendulkar. He had not played the previous match against Zimbabwe as he went back home to attend his father Ramesh Tendulkar’s funeral. His wife Anjali paid him a visit before the match to break the news to him.
He however spent just four days in India, after which he came back to lead his team to victory against Kenya.
“After spending four days in India, I returned to England to rejoin the team on the eve of the match against Kenya,” said Tendulkar years later in his autobiography ‘Playing it My Way.’
“That, it seemed to me, was what my father would have wanted me to do, and that’s what prompted the decision to return to London to play the remaining World Cup matches. Though I managed to score a hundred in the match against Kenya — which remains one of my most cherished centuries, one I dedicated to my father – my mind was not always on the game.”
Tendulkar shared a 237-run stand for the third wicket. His fifty came in 54 balls and he crossed over into three figures off the next 47. He eventually took India to 329, smashing a six off the last ball to end the innings unbeaten on 140 off 101 balls, his innings punctuated by 16 fours and three sixes. India went on to win the match by 94 runs.