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Tendulkar, Sehwag fire up India

16/11/2003 05:40:57 AM Comments (0)

Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag struck explosive centuries to help India qualify for the triangular one-day cricket series final with a 145-run win over New Zealand.

India will now clash with world champions Australia in the final at Calcutta on Tuesday following their emphatic victory in the decisive last league game.

Australia topped the table with five wins from six matches, followed by India (2/6) and New Zealand (1/6).

India batted the Kiwis out of the match by posting their third-highest total of 353-5 after electing to bat, thanks to Tendulkar's robust 91-ball 102 for his 36th century and Sehwag's career-best 130 off 134 balls for his sixth.

New Zealand, led by Chris Cairns in the absence of injured Stephen Fleming, wilted under pressure of a big total and were all out for 208 in the day-night game to suffer their first defeat against India on their tour.

The Kiwis drew a two-Test series and then shared points in a rain-hit game at Madras before beating the hosts by four wickets at Cuttack in their previous two league games of the one-day tournament.

"Overall, the tour was a success because it is always difficult to play in this part of the world," said Cairns.

"India began well and their openers (Tendulkar and Sehwag) took the game away from us."

India lifted their performance when it mattered most, while New Zealand's bowling and batting left a lot to be desired.

All-rounder Scott Styris alone gave a good account of himself, following his two-wicket effort with a brisk 54.

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