This Day That Year: The God of Cricket completes a century of centuries
- Sachin Tendulkar recorded his 100th international ton on this day eight years ago.
- Tendulkar himself mentioned that the 100th hundred was the toughest one for him.
Billed by many as the greatest batsman of all time, Sachin Tendulkar achieved a unique feat on 16th March 2012 as he became the first man to record 100 centuries in international cricket. The Mumbai-born player achieved this milestone while playing against Bangladesh in the fourth match of Asia Cup 2012.
It is worth noting that the batting maestro had registered his 99th international hundred during the 2011 World Cup match against South Africa. He went 33 innings without a century before his innings against Bangladesh. Tendulkar himself mentioned that the 100th hundred was the toughest one for him.
The Little Master opened the innings for India in that match with Gautam Gambhir. Shafiul Islam dismissed Gambhir in the sixth over as the Men in Blue got off to a slow start. Virat Kohli then joined hands with Tendulkar in the middle and the two batsmen added 148 runs for the second wicket. Abdur Razzak shattered the stumps of Kohli, but Tendulkar continued to thrash the opposition bowlers from the other end.
The run rate of the Indian innings was less than five runs per over when Suresh Raina came out to bat at number four. Tendulkar, who had never scored an ODI hundred against Bangladesh till then, could not keep the scoreboard ticking as he consumed 13 deliveries to get from 94 to 100. He was on 99 at the end of the 42nd over as Raina kept scoring boundaries from the other side.
Finally, on the fourth ball of the 43rd over, Tendulkar clipped one delivery from Shakib Al Hasan on the leg side to take a single and bring up his toughest hundred ever. He took 138 deliveries to touch the triple figures, but he celebrated his century by hitting back-to-back boundaries in the next over. He was relieved after finally reaching the milestone as the media kept on asking him the same question again and again during the time between his 99th and 100th hundred.
It seemed like Raina and Tendulkar would guide India to a big score but Mashrafe Mortaza sent the duo back to the pavilion in the same over. Tendulkar received a standing ovation from the fans as he walked back after scoring 114 runs off 147 balls. His innings comprised 12 fours and one six. Ultimately, India ended their innings at 289/5 in 50 overs.
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Talking to Ramiz Raja during the innings break, Tendulkar had pointed out that he had been batting well in that season, but luck was not on his side. He had said,
“It’s been a tough phase for me. I started off the season batting reasonably well. I was luckless. I am not playing only for my 100th hundred. It doesn’t matter how many hundreds you score, you still put your head down, grind it out and do the job for the team.”
Unfortunately, India could not win that match as some fine batting performances from Tamim Iqbal, Jahurul Islam, Nasir Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, and Mushfiqur Rahim ensured that the home side chased down India’s score in 49.2 overs.
India could not make it to the final of the Asia Cup that year (Pakistan were the eventual winners). Nevertheless, this match will always have a special place in the hearts of Sachin Tendulkar fans.Published 16 Mar 2020, 15:21 IST