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Hobart on Tuesday

Gulu Ezekiel | 5:47pm gmt 29 Feb 2012
Hobart on Tuesday
Tuesday\'s centurion
The state of Tasmania is known as the Apple Isle and is one of the most scenic spots in Australia. It is also apparently a lucky place for Indian cricketers.

Situated 240 km south off the continent of Australia it was in the capital of the island that India's cricketers pulled off a miracle win to go level with Sri Lanka on points in the CB ODI tri-series.

The win kept alive their hopes of making it into the finals and retaining the title they won for the first time against the same two sides back in 2007-08.

While Hobart was the venue for the astonishing victory on Tuesday, it was at Tasmania's other venue of Launceston that the Indians also pulled off a must-win over New Zealand in the last league game back in February 1986 to reach the finals of the Benson and Hedges tri-series for the first time. They went onto lose 2-0 to hosts Australia.

Back then it was Ashok Malhotra who top scored with 39. But all rounder Chetan Sharma - dropped before scoring - with 38 not out and one wicket walked away with the Man of the Match award.

In a match reduced by rain, India scored 202 for nine in 48 overs. New Zealand's target was 190 from 45 overs. But with captain Kapil Dev and Roger Binny both taking three wickets, the Kiwis could only reach 168 for nine for India to win by 22 runs and make it to the finals.

Now all of India will be praying Australia beat Sri Lanka in the final league match at Melbourne on Friday for the reigning world champions to reach the tri-series finals for the third time in succession.

Even a tie though will be enough for the World Cup runners-up to squeeze past India. The hosts are already assured of their berth.

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Over the coming weeks Gulu Ezekiel will be contributing his thoughts on cricket's history as well as some current issues in the game. Hopefully we may also be able to tease out of him some of his best work on other aspects of India's rich sporting heritage.
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