Despite the loss, a memorable moment for India fans came in the 44th over of the first-innings when the ‘Little Master’ nudged for a single and brought up the much-awaited 100th international century.
While his teammates and fans jumped with joy, Sachin Tendulkar’s reaction was more a sigh of relief – as he marked the moment with a modest glance skywards while pointing to the Indian flag on his helmet – than someone celebrating an achievement no other player is even close to.
The 38-year-old, who now has 51 hundreds in Tests and 49 in One-Day Internationals (ODI), made a rather slow 114 off 147 balls with 12 fours and a six, before he was caught behind off seamer Mashrafe Mortaza in the 47th over. India posted a challenging 289 for five but Bangladesh ran down the total with a courageous and purposeful batting display.
‘It hasn’t sunk in yet’
Tendulkar, who endured one of his longest runs of going century-less, was a relieved man after completing the feat.
“It has not sunk in yet, but I have definitely lost 50 kilogrammes,” he told the Neo Cricket channel, broadcasting the Asia Cup matches.
“I was not thinking about the milestone. The media started all this. In the restaurant, room service, everyone was talking about the 100th hundred.”
Tendulkar – the most capped player in the history of the game with 188 Test and 462 ODI appearances since making his debut as a teenager against Pakistan in 1989 – said the long wait for the milestone was a difficult period.
“This has been a tough phase for me. I started off the season batting reasonably well, but I was luckless. It does not matter how many hundreds you have, you still have to grind it out.
“This was difficult to understand because nobody talked about my 99 previous hundreds.”
Asked if he had any advice for youngsters, Tendulkar said, “Enjoy the game and chase your dreams. I waited for 22 years to realise a dream — that of winning the World Cup.”
Bangladesh spoil the party
An innings that took a little over a year – the maestro’s last ton came against South Africa in the World Cup at Nagpur on March 12 – came, however, in a losing cause.
While the earlier half of the match belonged to Tendulkar and his landmark, the second was dominated by the hosts.
Opener Tamim Iqbal (70) and Jahurul Islam (53) put on 113 for the second wicket before man-of-the-match Shakib Al Hasan (49) and Nasir Hossain (54) plundered 68 off just eight overs.
Bangladesh needed 46 runs in the last five overs with six wickets in hand, but captain Mushfiqur Rahim (46 not out off 25 balls) eased the pressure by smashing three sixes. Shakib hit two sixes and five fours in his 31-ball knock at a crucial stage. Bangladesh’s surprise win took them level on points with India who beat Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament. Meanwhile, Pakistan have two wins in two matches and top the table. Sri Lanka are yet to win a match.
“I congratulate him on behalf of Pakistan. I’m sure people in India will be extremely happy about this. Anyone who wants to pursue a cricketing career, Sachin is the one to be followed.”
“He is a marvel to cricket lovers around the world and with an array of batting records, Sachin is a true role model who will undoubtedly hold a special place in cricket’s history.”
“The outstanding feature of Tendulkar is his temperament. You will never see him upset on the field. The way he has handled the fame and the fortune is truly remarkable.”
“I don’t see someone breaking his record in my lifetime at least. A single century is a difficult task let alone making the century of centuries, which is something very big and huge.”