Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar makes his 100th international century
Tendulkar, known as "The Little Master" reaches landmark against Bangladesh
He is the highest Test run scorer of all time and has 51 Test hundreds
Bangladesh won the match by five wickets as they chased 290 for victory
He’s known as “The Little Master” and now Sachin Tendulkar can lay claim to being the only man in cricket history to reach 100 international centuries.
The Indian batsman, who is the highest Test run scorer of all time, achieved the unprecedented feat during a one-day international against Bangladesh on Friday – having been stuck on 99 hundreds for 33 innings.
Tendulkar, who is revered in his home country and regarded as one of the finest batsmen ever to play the sport, looked to the heavens and kissed the Indian badge as he reached the landmark figure.
His 100th century was his 49th in one-day matches, to add to his 51 Test hundreds. It was also his first one-day century against minnows Bangladesh. He was eventually dismissed for 114.
“I was not thinking about the milestone. It hasn’t sunk in,” Tendulkar told the host broadcaster after his historic knock.
Home town: Mumbai
Debut: Against Pakistan in 1989
International matches: 651
International runs: 33,854
Test hundreds: 51, at an average of 55.44
One-day hundreds: 49, at an average of 44.81
First hundred: Against England in 1990
Most hundreds: Against Australia (11 Tests, nine ODIs)
Highest score: 248 not out (v Bangladesh in 2004)
“A year ago when I got my 99th hundred the media began talking about it. Everybody began asking me about that. It began (to get a) little difficult. I was not playing for my 100th hundred.
“I have lost about 50 kilos. Enjoy the game and chase your dreams. I had to wait for 22 years for one dream, the World Cup.”
Despite Tendulkar’s heroics, Bangladesh eventually scored an upset victory in the Asia Cup match by five wickets.
Chasing India’s 289 for five wickets, openers Tamim Iqbal and Jahurul Islam put on 113 for the second wicket.
Man-of-the-match Shakib Al-Hasan (49) and Nasir Hossain (54) kept the scoring rate high, but Bangladesh still needed 46 runs off the last five overs.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim saw them home with 46 not out off 25 balls, including three sixes.
It took only a little gloss off the earlier milestone for 39-year-old Tendulkar, who is India’s most high-profile sporting icon in a country where cricket is a religion.
His century provoked an outpouring of joy on home soil after a long wait.
Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan took to Twitter to say: “India breathes normally! Sachin completes an incredible feat! A hundred 100’s. Never done before, perhaps never after!”
Tendulkar made his debut for India in a Test match against Pakistan back in 1989 when he was just 16 and, despite being hit in the mouth by a ball from fast bowler Waqar Younis, he batted on in a blood-soaked shirt.
His first hundred in international cricket came as a 17-year-old in a match against England and by the time he turned 25 he already had compiled 16 centuries.
Tendulkar became the first man to reach 50 centuries in 2000 and surpassed West Indian batsman Brian Lara’s record for the highest number of Test runs in 2008.
His current total of 33,854 runs in international cricket has cemented his status as a pioneer of the modern game and his enthusiasm for the game still burns bright as he prepares to turn 39 in April.
India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, paid tribute to Tendulkar in a statement. “I join the nation in congratulating Sachin Tendulkar on his making history – a hundred centuries. He has made India proud.
“Tendulkar’s long career has been a triumph of class, character and courage. I wish him many more innings and feats to continue inspiring the youth.”
Tendulkar recorded his 99th international hundred over a year ago as part of India’s successful World Cup campaign on home soil.
But since then he has failed to bring up three figures on India’s tours of England and Australia as well as the home series against the West Indies – twice being dismissed in the 90s.
The closest player to Tendulkar in terms of hundreds is former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who has 71 centuries. South Africa’s Jacques Kallis is third on the all-time list with 59.