So close no matter how far, Couldn’t be much more from the heart, Forever trust in who we are, And Nothing else matters!
The above lines of rock band Metallica’s 1992 chartbuster Nothing Else Matters held perfectly true for Sachin Tendulkar’s last day in international cricket at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday! Not because the track was part of the Black Album, but because, quite literally, nothing else mattered yesterday!
Near-impossible for Windies
The West Indies began Day Three of the second and final Test here needing another 270 runs to make India bat again. It was near-impossible, not just because they had only seven wickets in hand (overnight 45-3), but because they had never reached near 270 in the three innings this far (234 & 138 at Eden Gardens & 182 here). Expectedly, the visitors capitulated again, this time for 187. But that didn’t matter.
Their top batsman Chris Gayle (35) failed for the fourth straight time (18, 33, 11 in the three innings). Didn’t matter. Their two better batters, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (41) and Denesh Ramdin (53 not out) looked scratchy. Didn’t matter.
Opener Kieron Powell (9) and the experienced Marlon Samuels (11) both threw away their wickets with the former attempting to loft pacer Mohammed Shami but only managing to find R Ashwin at mid-off instead, and the latter stepping down the track to left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha to have his stumps uprooted by wicketkeeper MS Dhoni instead. Didn’t matter. There were some good things too.
Like Ojha finishing with his second straight fifer (5-49), Ashwin ending up with 4-89 and India winning the match by an innings and 126 runs. With it, the series 2-0. But even that didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered for the near-30,000 crowd at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday was that their beloved Tendulkar was in Test whites for one final day.
A bonus to see Sachin bowl
Every move from the Master was cheered vociferously. And Dhoni brought all on their feet when he threw the ball to Tendulkar for Over No 41 with WI reeling at 162 for 8. Tendulkar bowled his leg spin and even the wrong ’un, but his golden arm was not to deliver this time.
He bowled a second over too wherein he lobbed an ugly full toss that Ramdin clubbed to the mid-wicket fence. Even that didn’t matter because the crowd that had come to only watch Tendulkar field, earned a bonus by seeing him bowl one final time. Then, at 11:47.53 it happened!
Shami cleaned up No 11 Shannon Gabriel with an in-swinger on the last ball of the 47th over, and Tendulkar’s international career that began 24 years ago against the mighty, competitive Pakistanis comprising Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Abdul Qadir among others ended against an utterly poor West Indies outfit that failed in all departments of Test cricket. It rained at the Wankhede thereafter. A flood of emotion created by millions of teardrops saluted Bharat Ratna Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
WI 1st Inns: 182
Ind 1st inns: 495
Wi 2nd inns (overnight 43-3)
C Gayle c Dhoni b Ojha 35
K Powell c Mohammed Shami b Ashwin 9
T Best lbw b Ojha 9
D Bravo c Vijay b Ashwin 1
Samuels st Dhoni b Ojha 11
S Chanderpaul lbw b Ashwin 41
N Deonarine c & b Ojha 0
D Ramdin not out 53
D Sammy lbw b Ojha 1
Shillingford lbw b Ashwin 8
S Gabriel b Mohd Shami 0
Extras (b 4, lb 5) 9 Total (all out; 47 overs) 187
Fall of wickets 1-15, 2-28, 3-43, 4-74, 5-87, 6-89, 7-157, 8-162, 9-185
B Kumar 3-0-4-0
Mohammed Shami 7-0-28-1 R Ashwin 17-4-89-4 P Ojha 18-6-49-5
S Tendulkar 2-0-8-0
India won by an innings and 126 runs