Bangladesh heroics lay Sachin milestone to waste
Sachin Tendulkar hit the much anticipated hundredth hundred of his international cricket career but Bangladesh’s batsmen pulled off a spectacular chase to hand India a 5 wicket loss in their Asia Cup match at Mirpur on Friday.
370 days and 32 innings after century no. 99 came against South Africa in the 2011 World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar reached the milestone hundred off 138 balls. The wait included a nervy passage of progress from 78 to 100 off 40 balls during a powerplay but once he passed the mark he hit another 14 off 9 deliveries before being dismissed for 114 off 147.
On the way he added 148 runs for the second wicket with Virat Kohli (66) after Gautam Gambhir (11) went early. Another 86 runs were added with Suresh Raina (51) for the third wicket, both the partnerships were highlights for how the batsmen handled the two paced pitch, adjusting to the slow, low nature of the pitch.
MS Dhoni (21) finished with a flourish as India racked up 289/5, the earlier slowdown clearly depriving them of an extra 30 runs.
Tamim Iqbal (70) and Jahurul Islam (53) steadied Bangladesh’s innings with a 113 run partnership for the second wicket after Nazimuddin’s (5) early dismissal. Ashok Dinda replaced Vinay Kumar in the Indian line up.
The bowlers failed to keep a tight hold on Bangladesh’s progress and the batsmen plodded along. The BD batsmen then succeeded where India failed, capitalizing on their final powerplay as Shakib al Hasan cut all hell loose, slamming 49 off just 31 balls.
Nasir Hossain (54) timed his innings wonderfully at the other end, providing Shakib a license to go for the shots before going for the shots himself, allowing Mushfiqur Rahim to settle in.
Mushfiqur Rahim (46* off 25b) wasted no time and with 33 required in 3 overs, the Bangladesh skipper tore Irfan Pathan apart, launching him for consecutive sixes. The first two balls of the next over by Praveen Kumar, one of them a waist high no-ball, were dispatched for 10 runs, settling the game there itself.
Nasir Hossain’s dismissal was of no relief to the Indians as Mahmudullah smashed Dinda for the winning runs triggering wild celebrations.
India’s bowlers, especially Irfan and Dinda were undone by the ferocious Bangladesh counter-attack and the support from the spinners was nothing special either, Suresh Raina proving the most economical but going wicketless for his efforts.
The result threw the Asia Cup wide open, India now must beat Pakistan with a bonus point on Sunday to keep their chances of going through to the final alive; either result in Sri Lanka’s game against Bangladesh could upset their chances.