Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur

Tendulkar scores his 100th international century

Siddarth Ravindran at the Shere Bangla Stadium

March 16, 2012

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Sachin Tendulkar holds up his India helmet after reaching his century, Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 16, 2012
Sachin Tendulkar raised his helmet to the dressing room after reaching his 100th international century © AFP
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Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to make a 100 international centuries, getting to the milestone against Bangladesh at the Shere Bangla stadium in Mirpur at 5:05pm local time on March 16, 2012. It ended a year-long wait for one of the most discussed landmarks in cricket history, and was his first ODI hundred against Bangladesh, completing his set of centuries against every Full Member country in both Tests and ODIs.

He reached the 100th hundred in the 44th over with a nudge behind square leg, one of his favoured strokes to reach a century. Despite the huge amount of hype surrounding the landmark, which has shown little sign of abating during the prolonged wait, there was no over-the-top celebration. The helmet came off and there was a wave of the bat, he looked up at the sky, as he usually does on reaching a hundred, and he acknowledged his team-mates by raising his helmet towards the dressing room. Several of the Bangladesh fielders congratulated him, even as the decibel-level in the packed stadium reached new highs.

It was not one of Tendulkar's most swashbuckling innings, more about efficient accumulation early on, before slowing down further as he neared the century, finally completing it off 138 deliveries. Tendulkar's achievement might have come against one of the weaker teams and in the league game of a low-key competition, but he still had to brave a raucous and partisan crowd. Once he reached the eighties, every dot ball he faced was loudly cheered. The Bangladeshi chant expressing displeasure, Bhua bhua, also rang out from sections of the stadium as he batted.

The stadium had been less than half-full when the match started, but as Tendulkar's innings progressed, more and more people came in and by the time he completed his hundred there weren't too many empty seats. There were frantic phone calls from reporters in the press box, back to their bosses, discussing long-ready tribute packages and whether the innings should replace the national budget as the front-page lead.

Unusually cautious play from Tendulkar suggested the weight of the coming milestone was affecting him. The holiday crowd, excited at the prospect of a terrific "I was there" anecdote to boast about, was egged on further by an enthusiastic DJ. He belted out several local hits, and that familiar background sound at the cricket these days, the bugle, ensured the stadium was a cauldron of noise.

The Mexican wave made its way around the ground, and the bouncing fans were rarely more thrilled than in the 34th over, a maiden by Mashrafe Mortaza. First, Tendulkar had to scramble back after attempting a single to mid-off, then a solid push towards mid-on went straight to the fielder before a slash landed just short of backward point. Sensing the batsman's discomfort, and possible nervousness, the crowd amplified the pressure with loud roars of approval after every delivery. He was nearly run out soon after, trying to pinch a single to backward point.

A lofted drive over extra cover in the 40th over and several singles took him to 99, which was when the crowd began to support Tendulkar, standing up and cheering in anticipation. Though India were past 200 with only two wickets down, Bangladesh tried to stifle Tendulkar by keeping seven fielders in the circle. The single to square leg finally brought up another mark of the longevity of the man who already has the most runs and has played the most matches in Tests and ODIs.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by BillyCC on (March 19, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

@sportofpain, well said on the Tendulkar and Bradman comment.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (March 18, 2012, 22:36 GMT)

Agree with @LillianThomson - Tendulkar now is like the 1996 Javed Miandad or the 1994-95 Gooch and Gatting. He should have been kicked out of the ODI team after 2007 World Cup - just like Dravid and Lax were. He had golden opportunity to retire on a high after 2011 World Cup - but his selfishness knows no bounds. So he chose to play on for meaningless milestones, in the process depriving many youngsters of opportunities.

Posted by prashant1 on (March 18, 2012, 14:53 GMT)

GOD ....is back !!! wooo hooo !!! Many many more runs and Hundreds to flow from his golden willow...and also would love to see the naysayers cringe EVEN MORE after 23 years !! Ha..Ha!!! love it!!!

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

Well done and congrats Sachin.It is a remarkable achievement.If you want to be remembered as one of the greats time has come to think about giving the chance to a youngster.Just some food for thought with all due respect.

Posted by sportofpain on (March 18, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

It is also fitting that this happened in Bangladesh - this is a country that is in love with cricket more than any other country. Such a great achievement deserves the right locale - not Australia or England where they seem to grudge him this achievement, not even in India where so may people are critical without understanding the depth of this achievement.

Bangladesh is in love with Cricket and Cricket is Sachin's life. It was destined to be here and is very sweet!

Posted by sportofpain on (March 18, 2012, 7:52 GMT)

It is also fitting that this happened in Bangladesh - this is a country that is in love with cricket more than any other country. Such a great achievement deserves the right locale - not Australia or England where they seem to grudge him this achievement, not even in India where so may people are critical without understanding the depth of this achievement.

Bangladesh is in love with Cricket and Cricket is Sachin's life. It was destined to be here and is very sweet!

Posted by sportofpain on (March 18, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

@lillianthompson: Your comments lack class. This is a body of work that no one can take awy from. The Don was great but what Sachin has accomplished I don't think the Don could have. Larwood may have been quick but Ambrose, Walsh, Donald, Steyn, McGrath, Akram, Waqar and Hadlee were not too shabby. Not to mention Quadir and Warne. And btw in that Bodyline series how much did the Don average - in the 50's.

A lot of my fellow Indians also trash him. Shame on them - the true follower of the game knows what a mammoth achievement this is and what an incredible journey this has been. Sachin - God Bless You. One day you will walk into the sunset and then we will all scarcely believe that someone like you held the bat.

Nanri! Shukriya!Thank You!

Posted by csowmi7 on (March 18, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

i would like all sachin critics to see his innings in the cb series finals in Australia and his blazing centuries in the Coca cola cup. In the 1990s when India were a terrible team it was only due to Sachin that we won so many matches.

Posted by Yolk_Eater on (March 18, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

Spare his son at least people. You have not experienced the journey, you can have only questions and not answers. Agreed he played slowly, but then tell me how much the bowlers need a total to defend? 350? 400? Because this is not bowling, this is bowling to just complete the formality of bowling. Remember last WC, against SA, India lost 9 wickets for 29, who is to blame? Sachin? Still, the target was 300 for SA, bowlers couldn't defend that? What should he do? Against england too which resulted in a tie. Zaheer khan just saved us somehow.

Posted by   on (March 18, 2012, 4:20 GMT)

i feels sad the way you makin fun of a person like sachin,,, after doing and serving all this years,, our people are still demanding ,,, and askin for proof,, this sure is one of his slowest innings,, but wasnt that slow either,,, we have no idea, what the pitch was and what the situation was,,, and that pitch was slow in the morning and better later on,, if sachin was out initially,,, God only knows what wouldve happened.. please if not respect atleast dont insult that person, atleast u indians,,, the other nations are fine,, but for indians,,, there was a time when it was only sachin, and he is still playing reasonably well,,, atleast better than the others except may be kohli and dhoni...

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