London, July 24: It seems hopes were high on Day 3 of the ongoing Lord's Test and so was Sachin Tendulkar's temperature. But such was the batting genius' passion for the game, that a little fever could not douse his desire to grace the biggest stage of cricket and attempt bagging his landmark century of centuries.
He came to the crease after India had lost both its openers for 77 with his old partner in crime Rahul Dravid at the other end of the 22-yards. The stage was set for a big score from the Little Master. His innings even started off in a slightly fortuitous manner when an overthrow handed him a bonus four runs. Within a matter of a few overs, Sachin had hit his stride.
At just about two overs into his innings, the little fellow dispatched the big fellow (paceman Chris Tremlett) to the fence to notch up his first genuine boundary. A few overs after that instance, he got on top of the man that has dismissed him 5 times in Tests - James Anderson, slapping the speedster for two fours in the 33rd over.
Sachin had his eye on the generous gap between third slip and gully and targeted it with scornful ease. But then he fell back into a fruitful back-foot-punch and cover-drive mode which cost the mighty Tremlett a couple of fours. Consequently, this passage of play saw India moving along at a brisk rate, with the batting duo bringing up India's 150 in the 42nd over. Then Sachin and Dravid settled into a more defensive routine of garnering singles and twos.
However, Sachin was still looking to drive regularly and that spelt his downfall. His 34 runs had come relatively quickly, indicating that the batsman was playing his accustomed game. But while countering the bounce and pace of Tremlett and Anderson, he forgot to factor in the swing of Broad, especially the late swing.
Thus, his stand at the crease came to an unfortunately abrupt end when he unwittingly played a fatal shot that wound up in the hands of Graeme Swann at slip. Sighs in the audience nearly drowned out the cheers as the Little Master had bungled up another chance to break his ton-less jinx at Lords.