|Sachin Tendulkar made his debut for Indian in 1989 againat Pakistan [Reuters]|
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar fell six runs short of his 100th international century on the fourth morning of the third and final Test against West Indies in his home city of Mumbai.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin lifted India’s spirits with his maiden Test ton as India finally reached 482 all out in reply to West Indies’ 590 and left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha sent back Adrian Barath (3) and Kirk Edwards (17) early to raise India’s hopes of an unlikely victory.
However, Kraigg Brathwaite (34 not out) and Darren Bravo (27 not out) then thwarted the visitors to take West Indies to 81 for two at the close.
Having cruised from 67 to 94 by hitting hit three boundaries and a six in the session, his innings came to an abrupt and crowd-silencing end when he edged paceman Ravi Rampaul to West Indies captain Darren Sammy at second slip.
The “Little master”, who has 51 Test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals, has been stuck on 99 hundreds since March.
|Sachin Tendulkar Test record|
The visibly frustrated 38-year-old trudged back to the pavilion, slowing down briefly to catch a replay of his dismissal on one of the giant screens above a grandstand as the disbelieving crowd slumped back into their seats.
Tendulkar’s only other false shot in the innings had come on Thursday when he edged leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo on 58 but wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh failed to hold on to the tough chance.
Tendulkar, playing his 184th Test, displayed a wide range of attacking shots in the morning against the second new ball, including an upper cut six off paceman Fidel Edwards over the third man, before he fell in the 90s for the second time since his last century.
Tendulkar is unlikely to bat again in this Test after India avoided the follow-on and will either have to wait for the one-day series against West Indies, if he opts to play, or the four-Test series in Australia starting in Melbourne on December 26 for his next opportunity.
Tendulkar still remains the leading all-time Test run-scorer, having passed the 15,000 mark in the first Test of the series, and is more than 2,000 ahead of his nearest challenger – his long-term teammate Rahul Dravid, who became only the second man to score 13,000 Test runs on his way to making 82 on Thursday.
India hold an unassailable 2-0 lead over West Indies in the three-match series.