Cricket: Little Master's 100th ton in vain

Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar celebrates scoring his 100th international century during the...
Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar celebrates scoring his 100th international century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is the first batsman to achieve the milestone. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Sachin Tendulkar finally ended his year-long wait to score a record 100th international century but that failed to stop India stumbling to a shock five-wicket defeat by Bangladesh which has thrown the Asia Cup tournament wide open.

Tendulkar, who had gone 33 innings without scoring an international ton since chalking up 111 against South Africa last March, stroked a single off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan to square leg in the 44th over to reach the landmark.

While the Little Master's achievement sparked celebrations among his team mates in the Shere Bangla National Stadium and brought the roaring crowd to their feet, Tendulkar simply raised his head skywards before kissing the Indian logo on his helmet.

But his determination to get the milestone out of the way may in the end have cost India the match as uncharacteristically he got bogged down in the 80s and it took him almost 15 overs to get the final 20 runs needed to cross three figures.

After a jittery innings featuring 12 fours and a six, he eventually perished for 114 after edging Mashrafe Mortaza's delivery to the wicketkeeper.

With the Indians still buzzing at Tendulkar's feat, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib gatecrashed the visitors' party with their quickfire knocks and overhauled the 290 victory target with four balls to spare.

Tamim Iqbal (70), Jahurul Islam (53) and Nasir Hossain (54)laid the foundations for the win by notching up fifties before Shakib scored 49 off 31 balls and Mushfiqur added an unbeaten 46 off 25 to help Bangladesh cruise past India's 289-5.

After Hossain and Shakib added 68 off 48 balls for the fourth wicket, India appeared to have snatched back the momentum when they dismissed Shakib in a close stumping decision.

However, skipper Mushfiqur tore apart the Indian attack, belting two huge sixes off seamer Irfan Pathan in the 48th over.

With Bangladesh needing 16 off 12 balls, Mushfiqur hit a four and a six in the first two balls of Praveen Kumar's next over to wrest control of the match.

Although Kumar went on to dismiss Nasir soon after, it was too late for India to salvage the contest and their defeat revived Bangladesh hopes of reaching next Thursday's final.

Pakistan top the standings with nine points while India and Bangladesh have four. Sri Lanka, who play the hosts in the final round robin match on Tuesday, have yet to win a match.

Sent in to bat first, India lost opener Gautam Gambhir (11) early on before Tendulkar added 148 runs with Virat Kohli for the second wicket.

Kohli missed out on a third consecutive one-day hundred when he was bowled by left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak for 66.

Tendulkar, however, could not be denied and scored his first ever ODI century against Bangladesh to complete his set against test playing nations.

India face arch-rivals Pakistan in their final round robin game on Sunday.

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