The Web


 Latest Cricket news on mobile: sms CRIC to 7333

Home > Cricket > India's tour of Bangladesh 2004 > Report

Tendulkar's ton gives India the lead

Deepti Patwardhan | December 11, 2004 12:16 IST
Last Updated: December 11, 2004 17:24 IST


Sachin Tendulkar's 34th Test hundred and cameo innings from Sourav Ganguly and V V S Laxman helped India to coast to 348 for 7 at the end of the second day of the first Test against Bangladesh at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka. Though India suffered three early blows, they fought back well to take a 164 run lead over Bangladesh.

Mashrafe Mortaza bowled with vigour throughout the day, but was unlucky to return with only one wicket to his name.

When stumps were drawn after the batsmen were offered the light, Tendulkar was unbeaten on 159 while Anil Kumble was yet to open his account.

Morning session

The morning belonged to Bangladesh pacemen Tapash Baisya and Mortaza, who bowled with a big heart. Mortaza was coming off a knee injury layoff, but bent his back for 10 overs while Baisya kept up the steam at the other end. The wicket was flat, but both bowlers were able to make the ball jump and swing, making the Indian batsmen look leaden-footed.

Virender Sehwag hardly ever moves his feet to execute his shots. Most of the times his hands are quick enough to produce any shot he thinks possible. A late push off Baisya, which cut into the gap between the slips and gully, was an example. But the very next delivery from the medium-pacer, which pitched up and angled in, had Sehwag stuck in the crease, missing the line as the ball thudded into the pads. India had lost their first wicket in only the fifth over of the morning with the team score on 19.

Three overs later, India's most technically equipped batsman, Rahul Dravid, shouldered arms to a ball that nipped in sharply and crashed into the off stump. Dravid was yet to get off the blocks. (24 for 2)

By now, the hosts were all pumped up and called in three slips for Gautam Gambhir who kept poking at outgoing deliveries.

Sachin Tendulkar, meanwhile, was almost done in by Mortaza. His attempted pull shot came off the toe end of the bat and went straight to short-leg, but Mohammad Ashraful spilled a golden chance to get the master out for a duck.

After the initial nerves, Tendulkar eased into his stride with a smooth cover drive to get his boundary account ticking. A couple of drives past mid-on and mid-off reminded fans of his past flourishes.

At the other end, Gambhir had started to carve a striking innings. He hit Mortaza for three consecutive boundaries, the first a clip off his pads to the mid-wicket fence, then a gorgeous cover drive, and finally a streaky hit past second slip to finish off the over.

Gambhir and Tendulkar had put on 44 runs when the Delhi lad was run out responding to a false call from the Mumbai veteran. Rajin Saleh picked up the ball at point and threw it to the bowler's end, which lay vacant as both batsmen were caught mid-pitch, Tendulkar having revoked his call for a run. (68 for 3)

The left-hander walked back to the pavilion dejected as Tendulkar stood by ruing the mix-up. But the 31 year-old continued to chase down Sunil Gavaskar's record of 34 Test centuries. And destiny seemed to favour him as he survived two more dropped chances. The first edge was a little wide and fell short of the slip fielder, but Mortaza'a inspired tenth over was able to induce a big nick from Tendulkar only to see captain Habibul Bashar at first slip floor an easy take. Rafique's opening over also had Rajin Saleh at silly point making a mess of a bat-pad chance.

Despite the chances, Tendulkar continued with the attacking game that seemed to have deserted him for the past six months or so. He galloped to 48 from 70 balls with nine cracking boundaries. The fact that 40 of these runs were scored on the off was an indication of the consistent off-stump line used by the Bangladesh bowlers.

Post-lunch session

When India resumed their innings, Mortaza and Baisya continued their hostility while the Bangladesh fielders kept up their generosity.

In the fourth let-off of the day, Ganguly was dropped by Manjarul Rana at first slip off left-arm spinner Mohammed Rafique. Ganguly had just started to find his feet against the spinner, walking contemptuously down the wicket to play his favourite hoick over mid-on. A quicker one from Rafique took the edge of his bat and flew to an unprepared Rana at first slip.

The fast bowlers had already started lining up to bowl to Ganguly. They peppered him, expectedly, with well-directed bouncers and the left-hander was again seen fending them off awkwardly, without keeping an eye on the ball.

Even Tendulkar was disturbed a little by the short-pitched deliveries. When he tried to duck one, the ball didn't bounce as much as he had expected and banged him on the helmet.

Rana and Mushfiqur Rahman then came on and eased the pressure a bit. Ganguly and Tendulkar milked them to carry India past Bangladesh's paltry first innings score.

Even in the mayhem, Ganguly reminded us why he is sometimes hailed as god of the offside. Two silken drives that kissed his bat and found their way to the boundary had the stamp of class. The Indian captain has been harassed by bad form. Too much is being made of his ineptitude in playing the short ball. India's ordinary recent performances have further affected his morale. Yet, all that Ganguly needs is to get his confidence going and convert the modest starts into a big innings.

After a well-crafted 71, Ganguly was bowled by Baisya in the last over before tea. The third ball of the over swung in a little, picked a faint edge from Ganguly's willow, and crashed into the stumps.

But the star of the innings remained Tendulkar, who went on to equal Gavaskar's record. Tendulkar reached the milestone when he took a single off Baisya.

After surviving a few chances, Tendulkar unleashed an array of shots, hitting 16 fours on his way to an unbeaten 106 at tea. He has now scored 631 runs in 2004 from eight matches at the average of 70.1.

Post-tea session

V V S Laxman, coming out with Tendulkar after the tea break, played a typically short and sweet innings. With the field spread out and Mohammed Rafique erring down the legside, Laxman prospered with his wristy drives. He started off with a clip off his pads and then hit two on-drives that hummed into the ropes. When Laxman is on song, even demolition looks like an art.

But just when the audience was gearing up for more eye-candy, he broke the spell by playing back to a delivery from Rafique that hurried on and hit him in line with the leg stump (291 for 5). A beautiful innings, studded with six boundaries, was cut short on 32 (39 balls). Laxman had helped Tendulkar build another substantial partnership of 59.

India by then had taken a lead of more than 100 runs and Dinesh Kaarthick rushed out as if he wanted double that lead in half the time. The young wicketkeeper tried to get off the mark with an adventurous sweep to a ball pitched on the off stump.

In Baisya's first over with the new ball, Kaarthick launched into him with three boundaries. The short ball was punished and whatever was pitched up ran down to the fence.

The 19 year-old played some audacious shots that contrasted with a composed innings by Tendulkar, who had continued on to 150 (in 239 balls), growing immune to anything the Bangladeshis could throw at him by now. This was his 15th 150 plus score, and the third this year. He cut and drove majestically, peppering the area between third man and mid-on with boundaries. The paddle sweeps and delicate flicks off the leg were also employed.

Mortaza, in his fourth spell of the day, was still causing problems for the Indian batsmen. He had Tendulkar edge yet another delivery, but the ball just fell short of first slip. Despite the let-ups, Mortaza kept coming in hard at the batsmen, testing them with the odd bouncer. He was starting to tire out, but was never short on effort.

The bowler's commitment was amply manifest in the brilliant catch he took to dismiss Kaarthick on 25. Kaarthick cut a short ball from Mushfiqur Rahman straight to point and Mortaza showed tremendous reflexes to latch on to the ball. (339 for 6)

The fielders had let the bowlers down regularly in the day with Mortaza being at the receiving end more often. Not only did they drop catches, the ground fielding was also not up to the mark. And yet Mortaza made an effort on behalf of Rahman, who had his first wicket of the match.

The Indians looked set to see the day through with Irfan Pathan settling in under the fading sky. But after facing 17 balls he tried to hit one straight over mid-on, only to see Rahman leap up and pluck the catch from thin air.

The second day's play was called off just an over later with Tendulkar standing strong on 159. India had made 348 for 7 from 95 overs, scoring the most number of runs in Bangladesh in a day.

India's tour of Bangladesh: The Complete Coverage

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 14

Sub: Sachin's flawed century

It was really sad to see that a great batsman like Sachin Tendulkar had to complete two great milestones - his 34th test century and ...

Posted by Fazle Quayum

Sub: Sachin scores 34th Test century

Had Sachin Tendulkar scored 150 test runs against a quality side like Australia or South Africa, I would have saluted him. Against these teams, he ...

Posted by Nelson Lewis

Sub: Sachin's ton

Sachin loves Bangladesh. I just hope he gets back his form. Shankar

Posted by Shankar

Sub: 34 and Counting....................

Congrats Tendulkar for equalling Sunny's Record of 34 whats next on your list??? This series in Bangladesh will be remembered for records rather than ...

Posted by Vamshi

Sub: comments on india's performance

that is an exelent performance

Posted by Raveesh


Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Write us a letter
Discuss this article

Related Stories

Sehwag puts India on firm ground

Sehwag stands and delivers

Harbhajan puts India on top

People Who Read This Also Read

Sachin equals Gavaskar's record

Tendulkar completes 18,000 runs

Tendulkar sets new record

Copyright © 2004 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.