With the West Indies losing one wicket after another during their second innings yesterday, anxiety began gripping the Eden Gardens. Was the game going to end on the third day itself? That would have meant fans, who have been on the Sachin Tendulkar trail were seeing him in action at the venue for the very last time.
Some spectators were overheard discussing how much of an anti-climax the whole event was becoming. And their worst fears were realised when paceman Mohammed Shami got rid of Sheldon Cotterell on the first ball of the 54th over.
Once the game got over, there were plenty of presents waiting to be handed over to Tendulkar and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was at hand to lead the charge.
She gifted him a miniature banyan tree containing 199 silver leaves, a framed painting, a shawl and a pagdi (turban). Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly too was amongst the dignitaries and he hugged Tendulkar when the Mumbai man came forward to be greeted by Banerjee.
Meanwhile, spectators at the stadium could be seen wearing the Sachin Tendulkar mask. However, some complained about the fit not being right while there were plenty of others who did not know where to get them from. It was a clear case of poor communication on the part of the Cricket Association of
Bengal. There was also a delay in procuring the masks because it could not be printed in time owing to the fact that the sponsors wanted their names printed on them.
During the tea break, Tendulkar did the honours of releasing balloons in the air which were tagged with his photographs. Ironically, the bunch he was supposed to release would just not soar till the time his picture was removed from it!