India outclass Namibia

PIETERMARITZBURG (South Africa): Indian century-makers Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly brushed World Cup debutants Namibia aside by 181 runs yesterday in one of the tournament’s biggest mis-matches. 

Tendulkar’s 152 gave him a fourth World Cup century, equalling Australian Mark Waugh’s record mark, as well as extending his one-day international record to 34 hundreds. 

The left-handed Ganguly, second on that list of centurions, reached three figures for the 20th time with 112 not out as the pair thrashed 244 in 40 overs out of India’s 311 for two. 

Namibia, in reply, were dismissed for a dour and colourless 130 off 42.3 overs. The result equalled the fifth biggest victory by runs in World Cup history. 

It was also the fourth cup game in a row that Tendulkar, restored to the opening slot for the tournament, has top-scored for India. 

For statisticians, India fans and Tendulkar and Ganguly’s immediate family, the Group A victory probably held some charm. 

For the neutral, however, yesterday’s game soon became as diverting as watching paint dry, particularly after Namibia’s top-order, so feisty against England in their last game, melted away in the Pietermaritzburg heat and humidity.  

From 47 for five after 15 overs, with the belligerent Jan-Berry Burger back in the pavilion after a 30-ball 29 including a six off Javagal Srinath, the game died a very slow death. 

Ganguly’s side still seemed on course to better the biggest World Cup win in history – England’s 202-run victory over India in the inaugural tournament in 1975. The win gave India 12 points, alongside Australia and England. Australia, though, have played three games to their rivals' four. – Reuters 

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