Kolkata, Dec 4 (UNI) He had to wait for a decade, but Eden Gardens paid him back richly as Sourav Ganguly completed a double whammy at the venue.
If he thought the 'burden' was off his shoulders when he hit his maiden ton at the Eden, he had the rare distinction of entering the 6000-run club along with Sir Don Bradman who leads the table with 6996 runs from just 52 matches.
The three other Indians in the club are current chairman of National selectors Dilip vensarkar (6868), Md Azharuddin (6215) and G R viswanath (6080). Then there are Sachin Tendulkar, Rohan Gavaskar and Rahul Dravid who are at the top of the heap.
Ganguly reached the milestone in his 98th Test accumulating 6016 runs at an average of 41.48 with 14 centuries to his name.
Scores of 102 and 46 in the two innings here was enough to get him to the landmark. He needed 132 runs to reach the 6000 runs club, and did so with a couple to Shaoib Akhtar, reaching 39 in his second innings. He was finally gone for 46 trying a wild swipe to push the scoring.
India immediately declared at 184 for four.
Completing a ton at one's home ground is an incredible feeling, more so when it's after a decade's wait in international cricket.
Ganguly reached his 100 stealing a single of Danish Kaneria, punched the air and stood with his helmet and bat raised. What a relief! His first century at Eden and first against Pakistan too after 98 tests, plundering over 5000 runs and 13 centuries around the world.
Ganguly said after the day's play,''This is my highest at Eden Gardens. So I think it is also my best performance here. It feels nice to score a hundred anywhere and scoring it in my home ground makes it even more special.'' ''As an international cricketer you always have expectations.
But this century will definitely bring a sigh of relief with it.
If I had to end my career without a century here it would have been very disappointing. A burden off my shoulders today,'' he added.
It was the burden of plundering runs all around the world and coming up a cropper on his home ground. It was the burden of the love of his fans who stood to applaud his maiden hundred here, that he repaid today.
Eden has given Ganguly back richly, even if it is after a decade.