Ecstasy & the agony: India lose despite Sachin’s heroics

Ecstasy & the agony: India lose despite Sachin’s heroicsDhaka: The ecstasy and the agony could not have come in a better and bitter contrast. If the whole nation was rejoicing the ton of tons that Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar scored a few hours ago, Indian fans were in for a shock as India could not defend a total of 288 against minnows Bangladesh in the Asia Cup league encounter here on Friday. The hosts managed to beat the Men-In-Blue by five wickets and this has put India in a do-or-die in their match against Pakistan on Sunday.

Though India got an early breakthrough when Praveen Kumar got Nazimuddin caught by Rohit Sharma at 15, Tamim Iqbal and Juhurul Islam played sensibly and kept the board ticking, scoring slowly but steadily until Juhurul gave a catch to Rohit Sharma off Praveen in the 30th over. Nasir Hossain joined Tamim, but the partnership was short-lived as Praveen Kumar again struck for his side when he got the dangerous Tamim caught by Ravindra Jadeja.

Thereafter, Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir forged a formidable fourth wicket partnership, adding 68 runs of just 48 balls and that in a way turned the tide in the hosts’ favour. Though R Ashwin enticed Shakib Al for a drive and Dhoni made no mistake in taking off the bails, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim played a captain’s knock, scoring 46 off 25 balls and that took the match away from India.

Earlier, Sachin Tendulkar struck his record 100th international century to guide India to 289 for five in 50 overs. Tendulkar's 114 came from 147 balls and it was studded with 12 fours and a six. Tendulkar was well supported with Virat Kohli (66) and Suresh Raina (51).

Tendulkar was involved in two crucial partnerships with Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina. Tendulkar and Kohli were involved in a 148-run stand for the second wicket that set the foundation of the innings and with Raina the batting maestro added 86 runs for the third wicket.

For Tendulkar it took 370 days to achieve the landmark century. He struck his last century (111) against South Africa during the 2011 World Cup at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, March 12.

Tendulkar's 147-ball knock was studded with 12 fours and a six. He was determined to get the monkey off his back. Tendulkar took 64 balls to get his 50 in style with a four off spinner Shakib-al-Hasan. He slowed down the pace as he approached 90s and took 19 balls to move from 89 to 100.

Tendulkar finally achieved the century with a single off Shakib in 43.4 overs. Tendulkar and Kohli finally were dismissed in consecutive deliveries off fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza in the 47th over.

Tendulkar said it has been a tough phase for him.

"It's been a tough phase for me. I started off the season batting reasonably well, it was luckless. I was not thinking about the milestone, the media started all this, where ever I went, the restaurant, room service, everyone was talking about the 100th hundred. Nobody talked about my 99 hundreds," he said.

Tendulkar asked the youngsters to enjoy the game and keep chasing their dream.

"I would say them to enjoy the game and chase the dream. Doesn't matter how many hundreds you've scored, you still have to put your head down and score for the team. Dreams do come true. I had to wait for one for 22 years (the World Cup)," he said.