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India thrash Australia after Tendulkar's 10,000-run feat

INDORE, India, March 31 (AFP) - Sachin Tendulkar surpassed 10,000 one-day runs during his 28th century to set up India's 118-run victory over Australia in the third international here on Saturday.

Tendulkar, the first batsman in the limited-overs game to cross the five-figure mark, hit a robust 139 off 125 balls to power India to an impressive 299-8 from 50 overs.

Australia found the target of six runs an over too hot to handle, slipping from a prosperous 102 for one to 136 for seven in the space of 49 deliveries.

The world champions were shot out for 181 in 35.5 overs with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and seamer Ajit Agarkar sharing six wickets.

India, who won the Test rubber 2-1, lead the five-match limited-overs by a similar margin. The fourth match will be played in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.

The tourists went out of the match once opener Adam Gilchrist, who hit 63 off 70 balls, fell playing attacking shots.

His dismissal, caught at mid-wicket off Harbhajan, sparked the collapse as Australia continued to lose wickets at regular intervals.

Gilchrist was the lone batsman to pose a threat to the Indian total as he hit his way out of trouble, striking four fours and a six in left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan's sixth over.

"I could not have asked for more," man-of-the-match Tendulkar said. "The important thing is that you should score and help the team win.

"I am now looking forward to two more wickets that will take me to 100 in one-day cricket."

Australian skipper Steve Waugh said the fall of quick wickets affected his team's chances.

"We can't afford to do that in any form of cricket," Waugh said, referring to his team's collapse.

Tendulkar also holds the world record of centuries -- nine more than second-placed Saeed Anwar of Pakistan.

His century overshadowed Venkatsai Laxman's career-best 83 on a day when Australia's gamble to put India in backfired on a slow pitch.

Tendulkar and Laxman dominated the Australian attack with a wide range of shots, sharing a 199-run stand for the second wicket in 29.4 overs.

Tendulkar struck 19 fours, while Laxman hit six boundaries in his second successive half-century.

The Tendulkar-Laxman partnership helped India overcome the early dismissal of Rahul Dravid who opened the innings in place of the out-of-form Ganguly.

The Indian skipper's poor run with the bat, however, continued as he fell without scoring.

Tendulkar, cautious when nearing the 10,000-mark, improvised brilliantly and exploded with a flurry of shots in the later part of his innings.

He plundered 15 runs in a Damien Martyn over and then went on to complete his century with a paddle-swept for four off Michael Bevan.

The in-form Laxman, striking the ball firmly and fluently, was eventually caught short of the crease while going for a second run.

India continued to suffer from their poor running between wickets, as left-handed Hemang Badani, too, became a run-out victim after contributing a 25-ball 23.

There were three run-outs in the Indian innings in the second match at Pune which Australia won to level the series.

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