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Shock treatment for fans at Wankhede Stadium

It's 10.08 in the morning and Ravi Rampaul charges down to unleash a 138.7kmph rib-high delivery to Sachin Tendulkar, who was on 94. The crowd cheer becomes louder expecting the master to inch further towards his 100th international century.


Fans outside the Wankhede Stadium yesterday.Pic/Bipin Kokate

But suddenly, there was dead silence in the stadium. It's wasn't hard to understand the reason when West Indies captain Darren Sammy was seen celebrating and a dejected Tendulkar walking back to the pavilion. At that point, Sammy's laughing remark on Thursday, "we want to break the hearts of few Indians," sounded like a wise prediction.

The maestro will have to wait for another day to get to the coveted landmark as he fell short by six runs yesterday. The fans, who were waiting outside the North Stand to grab a ticket for the day, already got the news and started enquiring about the availability on the fifth day. On being asked, Suraj Chatwal of Ghatkopar replies: "If India are made to follow-on, then Sachin can get the century in the second innings," he said.

It's no secret that Indians are obsessed with personal achievements, but at the expense of the country? "It's not like that. Now, it seems India will not lose the match, so only thing mattered was Sachin's century," another fan, who travelled from Mulund, tried to explain. Not only that, several supporters were seen leaving the stadium after India reached 392. "We have no interest in the game now as the follow-on is also not possible and it's unlikely that Sachin will get to bat again," they announced without provocation.

For many, the third Test between India and West Indies is over, but for the sake of game, the third Test actually began with India conceding a lead of 108 runs. One more day to go for India.

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