Mumbai, Nov 25: The millions of Sachin Tendulkar fans were left disappointed as the iconic batsman again came very close to his historic 100th international century only to miss it by six runs in the third cricket Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium here today.
There was a deathly silence at Tendulkar's home ground as pacer Ravi Rampaul turned the "villain" by dismissing their favourite hero. Interestingly, West Indies captain Darren Sammy's statement last evening that he intended to "break a few Indian hearts" turned out to be prophetic as he took a sharp catch at the second slip off Rampaul delivery that bounced a trifle more with Tendulkar trying to play a square drive.
The disappointment was writ large on his face as he slowly trudged back to the pavilion with the crowd stunned into silence. Starting on his overnight score of 67 not out, the legendary batsman was in a mood to get the coveted ton as quickly as possible.
The second new ball taken by rival skipper Sammy didn't pose any problems as Tendulkar was sweetly timing the ball. In fact he reached the 90's hitting a six off Fidel Edwards employing the upper cut over third man.
He also ran a few quick singles with his partner Virat Kohli. His 153-ball knock contained eight boundaries and a couple of sixes hit in an identical manner off Edwards.
Tendulkar's last international came on March 12 during a World Cup group league match against South Africa at Nagpur. It's been more than eight months that the entire nation has been waiting with bated breath for the elusive century.