Tendulkar misses landmark century, India 376/6 at lunch

November 25th, 2011 - 2:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Mumbai, Nov 25 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar fell six runs short of his milestone century as West Indies took three wickets to leave India reeling at 376/6 at lunch on the fourth day of the third and final cricket Test at Wankhede Stadium here Friday.

Tendulkar, resuming at overnight 67, came out aggressively and looked set to achieve his 100th century. But the ton eluded him as he was out to fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, caught in second slip by West Indies captain Darren Sammy. A hush descended over the stadium as Tendulkar walked off the field looking toward the sky.

India scored 95 runs in the morning session, losing three wickets in 25 overs.

The hosts trail the West Indies by 214 runs with Virat Kohli (33) and Ravichandran Aswhin (26) at the crease.

The morning was all about Tendulkar reaching the three-figure mark that has eluded him since eight months. His 99th century came in the World Cup league game against South Africa in Nagpur in March. Since then the cricketing fraternity and his fans have been eagerly waiting for him to score a ton.

The stage was perfectly set for the maestro and the intent with which he batted in the morning had the spectators on their feet. A huge crowd had turned out to see their hometown hero reach the feat.

Though West Indies began the day well with Ravi Rampaul testing Tendulkar with a bouncer and Fidel Edwards striking with his first delivery of the day getting rid of V.V.S. Laxman at gully.

But Tendulkar was at his very best. He raced to the nineties with three fours and one six. A straight drive and an elegant punch past cover saw the ball screaming to the boundary all along the ground. An upper cut off Fidel Edwards carried the ball over the ropes.

While looking to complete his century in the same fashion, Tendulkar top-edged Rampaul as he tried to guide the ball over the slip cordon, but could not get past captain Darren Sammy at second slip. The crowd was shocked to see him walk back.

He scored 27 runs in 20 balls in the morning, his 94 coming in 153 balls laced with eight fours and two sixes.

Tendulkar heads the list of getting out the maximum time (28) in the 90s. In Tests, he has Steve Waugh and Rahul Dravid for company at the top of the list — all three of them have got out in the 90s on 10 occasions.

Sammy, who has been bowling intelligently maintaining a steady line, was rewarded with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s wicket. The wicketkeeper batsman played over a fullish delivery and had his stumps shattered.

It fell to Kohli and Aswhin to save the team from following on. The two added 45 runs for the seventh wicket.

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