Tons by Sachin, Ganguly give India control over Test

By Qaiser Mohammad Ali


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Chittagong : Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly scored fine centuries to help India take firm control over the first Test against Bangladesh on a rain-affected second day here Saturday.

Tendulkar notched his 36th ton (101, 169 balls, 9x4s) and Ganguly his 13th (100, 165 balls, 13x4s, 2x6s) to guide India to 384 for six wickets in the first innings on a day when rains and unplayable ground conditions allowed only 20 overs to be bowled.

Both seasoned campaigners put on 189 runs for the fifth wicket.

When play was stopped three overs before the completion of the day's quota due to poor visibility at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was batting on 36 (35 balls, 6x4s) and Anil Kumble was on one.

Due to overnight and persistent Saturday morning rains, the umpires inspected the ground thrice before deciding that play would start at 4.30 p.m. and 23 overs would be bowled. In all, 83 overs have been lost in two days.

With inclement weather forecast for this port city near the Bay of Bengal, the five-day match looks like heading for a draw. The second and final Test will be played in Dhaka from May 25.

Earlier, India started the day at 295 for three, with left-handed Ganguly batting on 82 and Tendulkar on 80.

Both batsmen started sedately, and 38 minutes later Ganguly reached his century (163 balls, 221 minutes, 13x4s, 2x6s) – his first against Bangladesh in his fifth match. He reached the milestone with a pull shot of pacer Shahadat Hossian.

Ganguly's previous century had come 20 months ago, when he scored a controversial 101 against Zimbabwe in Harare. After that tour he was dropped, and was recalled for the tour of South Africa late last year.

Between his last century and this one, the elegant left-hander played 12 innings and scored two half-centuries.

Two balls after completing his century, Ganguly was out trying to play a somewhat similar shot off pacer Mashrafe Mortaza. He failed to connect well and skied the ball for Mohammad Rafique to take a running catch near the bowler's end.

Ganguly also completed 5,500 runs during the innings and took his aggregate to 5,535 in his 92nd Test.

Fifty minutes after Ganguly completed his hundred, Tendulkar reached his ton – his second against Bangladesh-with a single to mid wicket off Mortaza.

Tendulkar was also out soon after reaching his ton, playing a pull shot. He top edged a Shahadat Hossian delivery and ended up giving a catch to Mohammad Ashraful at cover.

Earlier in that over from Hossian, Dhoni, at 27, had got a reprieve when Rajin Saleh dropped him right on the mid wicket boundary, with possibly sunrays in his eyes.

It was Tendulkar's first century in 18 innings since December 2005 when he scored 109 against Sri Lanka in Delhi to emerge as the lone owner of the world record of maximum centuries. Before that knock, he shared the record with former India opener Sunil Gavaskar.

Dhoni lived dangerously at the crease, playing his own brand of cricket. He tried to innovate by taking risks, but got away with it.

Ramesh Powar, making his debut, managed seven before being bowled by left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique.


Day 2, First Test, India vs. Bangladesh, Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium, Chittagong

Wasim Jaffer b Mortaza 0
Dinesh Karthik c Ashraful b Mortaza 56
Rahul Dravid c Mashud b Hossain 61
Sachin Tendulkar c Ashraful b Hossian 101
Sourav Ganguly c Rafique b Mortaza 100
Mahendra Singh Dhoni batting 36
Ramesh Powar b Rafique 7
Anil Kumble batting 1
Extras: (bye 2, leg byes 8, wide 2, no balls 10) 22
Total: (for six wickets in 97 overs) 384

Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Jaffer, 0.1 over), 2-124 (Karthik, 31.2), 3-132 (Dravid, 33.1), 4-321 (Ganguly, 84.2), 5-366 (Tendulkar, 91.5), 6-381 (Powar, 94.3)

Mashrafe Mortaza 24 5 95 3 (4nb, 1w)
Shahadat Hossain 17 1 75 2 (2nb, 1w)
Mohammad Rafique 24 3 99 1
Enamul Haque (junior) 15 0 59 0 (4nb)
Saqibul Hasan 13 2 29 0
Mohammad Ashraful 1 0 5 0
Rajin Saleh 3 1 12 0

Umpires: Daryl Harper (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
TV umpire: Enamul Hoque Moni (Bangladesh)
Reserve umpire: Jahangir Alam (Bangladesh)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)