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Tendulkar falls for 74, India lead by 100 runs

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Tendulkar falls for 74, India lead by 100 runs
Tendulkar falls for 74, India lead by 100 runs

Mumbai – Sachin Tendulkar fell for 74 in his farewell Test as India reached 282 for three in the first innings at lunch and took a lead of 100 runs on the second day of the second cricket Test at the Wankhede Stadium here Friday.

While Cheteshwar Pujara (85 batting) and Virat Kohli (36 batting) raised hopes for a big score for India with their aggressive 61-run unbeaten stand, the highlight of the day rem! ained the first 68 minutes of the day that was dominated by Tendulkar i! n his 200th Test.

Fans filled up the Wankhede early in the day, anticipating a big knock from Tendulkar on his swansong. The master blaster, who was on 38 overnight, enthralled the packed stadium with another 36 runs.

Tendulkar was in supreme touch and looked determined to get his 52nd Test century, second at this venue, handpicked by him for his farewell. His first and only Test century at the Wankhede was way back in 1997, a fine 148 against the Sri Lankans in the first innings.

But he failed to break the 15-year-old jinx of not scoring a century at his home ground as he was done in by some extra bounce from spinner Narsingh Deonarine and the thick edge flew quickly to skipper Darren Sammy at first slip reducing India to 221 for three in the first innings, a lead of 39 runs. Tendulkar hit 12 fours in his 118 balls knock.

The Wankhede Stadium will remain a venue of missed centuries for Tendulkar.

An eerie silence descended on the stadium,! that was on its toes right from the first ball of the day. But soon the crowd realised that it was time to applaud as Tendulkar started walking back to the dressing room. It was perhaps the last and the longest walk for the cricketing legend in his fairytale journey.

Tendulkar looked up at the sky once and waved his bat to the fans in acknowledgment of their support. Then he kept his head down and walked up to the dressing room for probably the last time in batting gear.

The giant screen showed images of his mother Rajani and wife Anjali, who were clearly in shock. The expression on their faces said it all. For them, it was tough to accept the soft dismissal.

Tendulkar started the day needing just 12 runs to get to a fifty in this landmark Test. He got it with a four off Tino Best and moved on to 52 that also took India to 176 for two in the first innings, still six behind the West Indies, who were bowled out for 182.

The two back-to-back fours ! against spinner Shane Shillingford in the second over had class written! all over. Tendulkar was quick on his back-foot and cut the third ball past point for a classy four. The next ball, Tendulkar paddle swept for another four and quickly moved on to 47. The Wankhede went euphoric.

In the next over of Shillingford, Tendulkar took a single off the last ball to keep the strike and moved to 48.

It was Best again. Tendulkar was watchful on the first three balls, but got a bit adventurous on the fourth ball when he tried to guide the ball over the keeper but missed it completely. Cameras panned on his wife Anjali, who too was nervous.

But the stadium went up in roar the next ball, as Tendulkar punched it down the line for his ninth four that also brought up the half century. Wild celebrations broke out in the stadium, Tendulkar looked up at the sky and raised his bat in appreciation.

It was the introduction of Deonarine after drinks that did the trick for the West Indies. The part-time off-spinner struck with his fifth b! all for what would remain the most cherished wicket of his career.


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