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November 7, 2009

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Aussies win despite Sachin's record

A REMARKABLE innings of 175 in 141 balls by Sachin Tendulkar proved in vain when Australia took a 3-2 series lead with a thrilling three-run win over India in the fifth one-dayer in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Chasing 351 for victory, the home team was bowled out for 347 with two balls left after the brilliant Tendulkar became the first man to reach 17,000 ODI runs.

He put on yet another batting masterclass to add 137 for the fifth wicket with Suresh Raina (59) but debutant Clint McKay struck the all-important blow for Australia when he removed Tendulkar with India needing 19 from 18 deliveries.

"It was one of my best innings, I was striking the ball very well," Tendulkar told the prize-giving ceremony. "There was constant pressure but we maintained the run rate and brought the game close. But in the end it was disappointing."

Earlier, a maiden century by Shaun Marsh (112) and 93 from fellow opener Shane Watson helped the visitors compile an imposing 350 for four after opting to bat.

Man of the match Tendulkar set the pace as he anchored India's reply before falling short of what would have been the second highest successful run chase in ODI cricket.

He thumped 19 fours and four sixes as he tore into an injury-weakened Australian attack, making his intentions clear when he hit off-spinner Nathan Hauritz for two consecutive sixes.

Paceman McKay, replacing the injured Brett Lee, claimed three wickets and deceived Tendulkar with a slower ball he lashed to Hauritz at short fine-leg.

It was the 45th ODI ton for Tendulkar on his 435th appearance. The 36-year-old also holds the records for the most test runs (12,773), test hundreds (42) and one-day hundreds.

"Sachin played beautifully. It was one of the best knocks I've ever seen," said Australia captain Ricky Ponting. "We just had to keep hanging in there and I kept telling the bowlers to stick to their plans and to execute them well."

India lost its last three wickets for 14 runs, two to run-outs, as Australia stayed calm in a nerve-tingling finale.

Left-hander Marsh hit a run-a-ball 112 and put on 145 with Watson and 91 for the second wicket with Ponting (45).

Allrounder Watson, who also took three wickets, cracked nine fours and three sixes in his 89-ball knock before holing out in the deep attempting to slog-sweep spinner Harbhajan Singh.

Marsh made the most of two reprieves, smashing eight fours and two sixes, while Cameron White belted a 33-ball 57 with two fours and five sixes. White put on 80 with Michael Hussey (31 not out) for the fourth wicket before falling to Praveen Kumar off the last ball of the innings.

"It was a great win for the boys today and I am really happy to see some of the young guys doing well," said Ponting.


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