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Sachin, Sourav finally ton it up
Harish Kotian in Chittagong | May 19, 2007 18:36 IST
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly scored centuries as India ended a rain-restricted Day 2 in the first Test against Bangladesh on 384 for 6, in Chittagong, on Saturday.
Play commenced after a delay of nearly five-and-half hours, at 1600 IST, because of a wet outfield following heavy rain in the morning.
Only 20 overs were possible in the day.
It was a long wait for both Tendulkar and Ganguly to get to their centuries, after being unbeaten on 80 and 82 respectively at close on Day One.
Ganguly was the first to reach the landmark before throwing his wicket away.
It was similar story for Tendulkar, who also fell to a similar shot after scoring 101, his 36th Test century.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unbeaten on a quick 36 from 35 balls, inclusive of four boundaries, as India added 84 runs for the loss of 3 wickets.
Post Tea session: (20 over, 89 runs, 3 wickets)
Play finally got underway at 1630 local time (1600 IST) after a frustrating wait for five-and-a-half hours. The match was supposed to resume at 0945 local time, but heavy rain earlier left the outfield drenched. Bright sunshine thereafter for most of the day ensured that a few overs were possible.
Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jr started the proceedings and it was quite clear the two batsmen would concentrate on getting to their centuries with minimum risk. In fact, there was a huge leg before appeal against Tendulkar off the first ball he faced, as he tried a paddle sweep.
Ganguly was the more positive of the two, smashing a few boundaries after a couple of quiet overs. His first boundary of the day was a cracking pull shot to midwicket against pacer Shahadat Hossain. The left-hander followed it up with a sweetly struck straight drive down the ground against left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique. Another pull shot against Mortaza took Ganguly to 96 and a shot away from his 13th Test century.
His last century came against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in September 2005, when he scored 101. But that match is better remembered for the off-field incidents, which triggered a huge shockwave in Indian cricket.
The left-hander's century came courtesy a miscued pull shot and, luckily, it fell in the fine leg region away from the fielder. He faced 163 balls, hitting 13 boundaries and two sixes and was looking to get on with the game.
That shot seemed to give Bangladesh a clue, but Ganguly didn't learn from his mistake. Mortaza pitched it short and Ganguly again tried the hook, this time he got the leading edge and was caught by Rajin Saleh at mid-off. He could add just one more run to his tally before giving his wicket away with a rather careless shot after adding 189 runs for the fourth wicket with Tendulkar, the highest for the fourth wicket for India against Bangladesh Tests.
Tendulkar took his time in the nineties before cruising to his 36th century in Tests. The milestone, which came courtesy a single through midwicket in the 91st over of the innings, took 167 balls and included nine boundaries.
His last century was against Sri Lanka in Delhi in December 2005; since then the master batsman has gone 17 innings without crossing the three-mark figure. He did however register two half-centuries in South Africa last year, but, overall, it must have been a huge relief for him to cross the 100-mark after a year-and-half.
This was the longest lull in Tendulkar's long career -- no century for 17 innings. Before this, he had gone only 13 innings without a century. That was for his first Test century and also his 32nd century.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni batted in his trademark style, looking to attack at every possible opportunity.
Tendulkar also did a repeat of the Ganguly act, throwing his wicket away after completing his century. He also tried to pull pacer Hossain and the leading edge popped straight to Mohammad Ashraful on the off-side. The 34-year-old scored 101 from 169 balls, hitting nine boundaries during his four-and-half hour stay at the wicket.
Dhoni, however, continued to look for some quick runs and was even content batting in the fading light.
Ramesh Powar also tried to get on with things, but fell for 7, when he missed a straight delivery from Rafique and was bowled.
Dhoni blazed his way to 36 from 35 deliveries, with six smashing boundaries, before bad light halted his charge.
India finished the day on 384 for 6 in 97 overs, adding 89 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 20 overs that were bowled.
Mortaza continued to be Bangladesh's best bowler, claiming 3 for 95 in his 24 overs, while his pace partner Hossain took 2 for 75 in his 17.
The only highlight of the day were the centuries by Tendulkar and Ganguly. Other than that there was no real interest in the proceedings.
With six wickets down, India will be hoping for a full day's play on Sunday. At this stage, they have a realistic chance of winning the match, weather permitting.
Complete Coverage - India's tour of Bangladesh 2007