Cricket history for Sachin, but Bangladesh chase down India's 289

Mushfiqur Rahim smashed 46 off 25 balls to complete Bangladesh's upset of India in Mirpur. © AFP

Despite Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th ton, Bangladesh beat India by five wickets, making India’s next match versus Pakistan, on Sunday, crucial for the team.

Sachin Tendulkar on Friday became the first batsman in history to score 100 international centuries, adding another milestone in his record-breaking career.

Tendulkar, who turns 39 next month, achieved the feat when he recorded his 49th one-day century in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. He has 51 Test hundreds.

The Mumbai batsman, who has compiled more Test and one-day runs than anyone in history, reached the record with a single, marking the moment with a modest glance to the sky while pointing to the Indian flag on his helmet.

Tendulkar is the most capped player in the history of the game with 188 Test and 462 one-day appearances since making his debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November, 1989.

Millions of fans in India and across the cricketing world endured an anxious year-long wait before Tendulkar finally reached the landmark in the four-nation tournament, the symbol of one-day supremacy in the continent.

After 33 innings and over a year, Tendulkar finally got to the elusive ton. It took him 138 deliveries, one of the most arduos one-day efforts by the 38-year-old right-hander, to get to the 100 that had become as much a talking point as the team’s fortunes in the past 365 days.

The bowler against whom it came about was Shakib Al Hasan and the moment was the fourth delievry of the 43rd over of Indian innings.

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar raises his bat after scoring his 100th hundred. © AP

Tendulkar clipped it down to square leg and jogged the single, gave a long hard stare to his bat after taking off his helmet before looking heavenward in his signature style. What was missing was emotion.

The diminutive batsman, the most successful batsman in internationla cricket right now, kept it subdued. He shook hands with Suresh Raina, his partner at the other end, and raised his bat to acknowledge the cheering fans with a straight face giving little insight into what was going on his mind amid the drama.

But the teammates in the dressing room were as expressive as they could be as they all got up from their seats to applaud the veteran as he added another feather to an already overcrowded cap.

However, reaching the milestone was no easy task for the player who often makes batting look effortless.

After getting what several former cricketers called a monkey off his back, Tendulkar was dismissed by Mashrafe Mortaza off the second last delivery of the 47th over. The 114-run knock was incidentally Tendulkar’s maiden century against Bangladesh.

Upon his dismissal, the Bangladeshi players expectedly gave him a round of applause as he walked back to pavillion with fans cheering him on. His Indian teammates and coach Duncan Fletcher received him at the boundary lauding the iconic player.

But what would be remembered is the wait that Tendulkar endured to get to the milestone. It all began with the 99th ton that he got against South Africa in a World Cup match on March 12 last year.

For a man, who is considered nothing less than god of cricket in India, getting to 100th was considered nothing more than a stroll in the park.

He decided to skip the tour of West Indies that followed and the subsequent trip to England proved a disaster not just for him but for the entire team as it failed to notch a single win in any format of the game.

He got close to scoring the hundred a few times in the home Test series against the West Indies but missed out. The action shifted to Australia after that and though he seemed to be in good form, the Aussies kept their promise of not letting him the reach the milestone against them at least.

He was eventually selected for the ODI tri-series, his first one-day assignment after the World Cup, but once again the hundred eluded him.

Tendulkar then made himself available for the Asia Cup and as destiny would have it, the elusive ton came in the familiar sub-continental environs.

Source – Hindustan Times

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