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Ganguly joins 10,000-club

Special Correspondent

DAMBULLA: Sourav Ganguly became the second Indian batsman after Sachin Tendulkar and the third in the world following Inzamam-ul-Haq to achieve the 10,000-run mark in One-Day International cricket.

At the start of the IndianOil Cup tri-series match against Sri Lanka at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium here on Wednesday, the Bengal left-hander was 33 short of the landmark.

He reached the magical figure with a single off paceman Dilhara Fernando to the covers and went on to notch up his 60th one-day half-century. It was Ganguly's 272nd ODI.

Tendulkar holds the record for maximum runs in one-day cricket (13,642 from 348 matches). The Pakistan skipper is next with 10,934 runs from 344 matches. Sri Lanka's Sanath Jayasuriya needs 33 more runs to join this exclusive club.

Returning to international cricket after serving a four-match ODI ban, Ganguly opened the innings with Sehwag. The last time he opened in an ODI was on the tour of Bangladesh last season. However, it is as opener that Ganguly has had the most success. He has scored 7921 runs and 19 of his 22 hundreds in that position.

The last year and a half has not been the best of times for Ganguly. His last one-day hundred had come against Kenya during the 2003 World Cup and his last Test century in Brisbane on India's 2003-04 tour of Australia.

The home series against Australia, and Pakistan subsequently, turned out to be a nightmare for him with the willow and his confidence hit the nadir. It began to reflect on his captaincy as India moved from one defeat to another.

Clearly, the Bengal batsman had put the failures of the last season behind him. He began tentatively, but soon settled down, putting on 67 with Sehwag for the opening wicket and 50 for the next with V.V.S Laxman.

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