Bangladesh Spoil Tendulkar Party
The long wait finally ended when Sachin Tendulkar – after a whole year of trying – finally reached the landmark of 100 centuries in tests and one-dayers and billions of cricket fans around the world heaved a collective sigh of relief.
The achievement came in India’s game against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup tournament on Friday but the effort itself was in vain as Bangladesh pulled off an incredible five wicket victory to spoil Tendular’s celebratory party.
Tendulkar struck 114 as India posted a formidable total of 289 for five but the hosts were up to the challenge and responded with 293 for five with four balls to spare and snatch an incredible win.
Tendulkar, who had waited a year to reach the milestone, clipped a single to square leg off Shakib Al Hasan in the 44th over to take him into three figures, and responded to reaching the landmark with a muted celebration, while the Bangladeshi fielders also offered their congratulations.
However, his final tally of 114 was ultimately in a losing effort as Bangladesh won by five wickets thanks to half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal (70), Jahurul Islam (53) and Nasir Hossain (54), with Shakib (49) and Mushfiqur Rahim (46) also impressive as they reached their victory target of 290 in the final over to bounce back from defeat to Pakistan in their opening match.
Surprisingly Tendulkar’s ton was his first ODI hundred against Bangladesh and first international century since one against South Africa in the World Cup in March 2011.
He celebrated his hundred with successive fours off Shahadat Hossain in the next over before he was finally out to Mashrafe Mortaza, who had dismissed Suresh Raina for 51 off the previous ball.
Tendulkar got off the mark with a boundary – the first of 12 in total – off Shafiul Islam in the second over. He lost opening partner Gautam Gambhir for 11 in the sixth over as he got a thick inside edge onto his stumps off Shafiul.
The ‘Little Master’ brought up his 50 off Shakib in the 19th over, but lost another partner as Virat Kohli edged one from Abdur Razzak on to the base of his leg stump having struck 66 off 82 balls.
He endured a couple of nervy moments on the cusp of the 90s as he twice stepped out of his crease to successive Mortaza deliveries, but finally reached the historic landmark off the fourth ball of the 44th over.
Raina fell having struck a lively 51 off just 38 balls as he lofted a Mortaza ball to Tamim at long-off, and Tendulkar was out next ball, connecting with a thick edge and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur gobbled up the chance. He received a standing ovation on his walk back to the pavilion.
Rohit Sharma was run out for four by a brilliant direct hit from Nasir as captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni went for a second run off Mortaza in the penultimate over. The innings ended with India on 289 for five as Dhoni finished with 21 off 11 balls, with Mortaza the pick of the bowlers with two for 44.
India claimed a first breakthrough in the fifth over as Nazimuddin fell to Praveen Kumar for five, but Tamim and Jahurul then dug deep before the latter fell to Ravindra Jadeja with the score on 128.
Tamim, whose innings included six sixes, was finally out when he was caught by Jadeja off Kumar but Nasir and Shakib kept the hosts on course for victory.
Nasir became Kumar’s third victim – caught by Raina – just two runs shy of the victory target, and it was left to Mahmudullah to strike the match-winning boundary off Ashok Dinda.