Sachin Tendulkar was unable to celebrate a victory on the occasion of his 100th international century as a superb run chase from Bangladesh threw the Asia Cup 2012 wide open once again courtesy of a five-wicket win in front of their home fans in Mirpur.
Tendulkar had scored 114 to help India post 289 for five but his side were defeated thanks to half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal, Jahurul Islam and Nasir Hossain as well as a blistering unbeaten 46 in 25 balls from captain Mushfiqur Rahim.
Rahim slammed two sixes off Irfan Pathan in the 48th over and then all but ended the game by hitting Praveen Kumar for another six and a four early in the 49th.
It was then left to Mahmudullah to hit the winning runs with four balls to spare and put the seal on the highest successful run chase achieved by Bangladesh against a Test-playing nation.
It dampened India's spirits after they had been in celebratory mood at the interval after Tendulkar ended a wait of more than a year to reach his 100th international century with an innings of 114 that had appeared to set up the game for his side.
Virat Kohli scored 66 and Suresh Raina 51 as India batted around Tendulkar, whose innings came from 147 deliveries.
Their bowlers then struggled to maintain consistency and their spinners lacked penetration which allowed Bangladesh to first lay foundations and then produce an outstanding late charge, led by Rahim and Nasir, for a victory that ranks as one of their finest.
Iqbal struck 70 in 99 balls, Jahurul Islam 53 in 63 and Nasir 54 in 48 before Shakib (49 in 31 balls) and Rahim accelerated in a way that India had been unable to, albeit in conditions that favoured the batsmen and made bowling tricky thanks to the dew factor.
Irfan Pathan leaked two huge sixes in as many balls in the 48th over when the game was in the balance, and if anything, still favouring India. Rahim repeated the trick early on against Praveen Kumar and then added another boundary for good measure.
Although Kumar responded to have Nasir caught by Raina, the wicket came too late and 64-run partnership between Rahim and Nasir had proved decisive.
India take on Pakistan in their next game on Sunday (18th March) which now takes on huge importance for them and Bangladesh finish the group stages when they play Sri Lanka on Tuesday (20th March).
© Cricket World 2012
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