Friday, March 16, 2012
Asia Cup Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar Creates History And Bangladesh Win A Cracker!
Finally it had to be in Bangladesh and against Bangladesh. Coincidentally it was his first ever century against Bangladesh in one-day cricket after scoring in multiples against all cricket playing nations. As if he had reserved Bangladesh for this historical moment and grateful Bangladesh reciprocated in an incredible manner!
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar finally accomplished the feat of the hundredth hundred in the 4th one-day international of the Asia Cup at Mirpur, Dhaka today. Opening the Indian innings he played with determination staying at the crease almost the whole of the innings and scored 114 runs off 147 balls. Now he has 51 Test and 49 one-day cricket centuries apart from being the first in many other records. Hailed as the second greatest batsman of world cricket after Don Bradman, Tendulkar achieved this after an agonizing gap of almost a year or since the World Cup-2011.
Media hype for the hundredth international hundred put lot of pressure on him maybe thus prolonging the hiatus and exerted much more pressure on expecting cricket fans many of whom almost gave up hope. So today, the sense of relief seems to be more than that of celebration. As many pointed out in the meantime we should focus more on his astounding total contribution to cricket rather than on this single feat as if his 99 centuries are of no value.
But even this sense of relief turned into dismay for Indian fans when Bangladesh turned the match on its head and posted an incredible victory in the last over. History failed even to make Tendulkar the Man of the Match today thanks to some superlative cricket from young Bangladesh players.
Chasing a stiff target of 290 runs Bangladesh progressed steadily, but a little too steadily for comfort as the asking rate kept on rising to around 8 per over by the end of 34 overs putting the encounter in India’s favor. In came Shakib Al Hasan, promoted masterfully up the batting order, whose brilliant 49 off 31 balls put Bangladesh in contention. Even after the electric comeback India had a chance when Bangladesh needed 37 runs in the last three overs, but having the advantage of six wickets still standing. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim sealed his team’s win with a quick-fire 46 runs off just 25 balls. At 293/5 Bangladesh won by five wickets with four balls to spare. Shakib Al Hasan who caused the turnaround was rightfully adjudged the Man of the Match. They have proved today that they are terrific chasers almost winning the first game too against Pakistan.
India’s weak bowling attack was woefully exposed yet again today. You find just no quality bowler who could keep it tight in the death overs. They can only hope to win if their batsmen score well over 300 runs for a target. One cannot go on depending only on the old war horses like Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Harbhajan Singh. To keep their status of world champions quality bowlers must be found…sooner than later.
Bangladesh have thrown the Asia Cup wide open now with all three teams having a chance to meet Pakistan in the final. India’s job is cut out. They must defeat a stronger opposition Pakistan on Sunday to keep their chances alive and waiting for the result in the last league match on March 20. If Bangladesh win against Sri Lanka and Pakistan beat India Bangladesh will be in final. There are interesting permutations and combinations. Wait and keep calculating!
The big one on Sunday becomes even bigger now. Every cricket loving person in both India and Pakistan is eagerly waiting to relish, agitate, romance, excite and devour the moments! They would want their teams to play in the final too!
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