The legendary Sachin Tendulkar got a memorable gift in his emotionally-charged farewell Test which lasted just about two and a half days as India crushed a hapless West Indies by an innings and 126 runs to complete a 2-0 whitewash in one of the most lopsided contests in recent history.
There was an outpouring of emotions when the moment arrived as a teary-eyed Tendulkar left the playing arena, which he dominated for 24 long years. Amid standing ovations from his teammates as well as the fans who had thronged the stadium to see the champion for one last time, Tendulkar walked into the sunset of his glittering career.
Starting the day at 43 for three, the West Indies were skittled out for a paltry 187 in their second innings as Pragyan Ojha completed a match-haul of 10 wickets taking his second five-for.
Only seven sessions of play was possible in a Test match in which one of the most respected and celebrated cricketers in the history bid goodbye to the game in front of his home crowd and his family, many of whom watched him for the first time from the stands.
Gauging the emotional atmosphere, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, once the play was extended for 15 minutes after the fall of eighth wicket, introduced Tendulkar to roll his arms for a couple of overs amid deafening cheers from the partisan crowd.
He pitched a googly right, bowled a few loopy half volleys which were cheered by one and all.
He didn’t have much luck like the first Test but it didn’t matter as Dhoni replaced Tendulkar with his frontline spinner Ashwin, who got the ninth wicket of the West Indies innings.
Moment after the final West Indies wicket fell, the Indian cricketers converged around the ‘Man of the Moment’ and handed him a souvenir stump as they came one by one to hug him.
After that a relay ‘Guard of Honour’ was given by Dhoni and his men as Tendulkar walked out of the pitch one final time trying hard to conceal his emotions under the floppy sun hat.
But one could see him wipe a tear off as the West Indies players came down to congratulate the legend on a wonderful career. Arjun Tendulkar, who was doing the duty of a ball-boy, stood applauding at the boundary line.
Starting with a 8-1 off-side field, Ashwin bowled on Gayle’s pads as he was clipped for three boundaries in a single over by the big-bodied Jamaican.
Marlon Samuels (11) stepped out to a flighted delivery from Pragyan Ojha, only to find that Dhoni had effected the easiest of stumpings.
Gayle also followed suit as he edged a straighter one from Ojha for Dhoni to take a sharp catch. At 87 for five, there was a fear that the match may well get over even before lunch session as Narsingh Deonarine (0) offered a simple return catch to become Ojha’s fourth victim of the innings and ninth of the match.
However Chanderpaul, playing his 150th Test match offered some resistance in company of Denesh Ramdin (53) as they added 68 runs for the seventh wicket before the veteran padded up one from Ashwin that went straight after pitching. Chanderpaul scored 41 with four boundaries.
Skipper Darren Sammy (1) who had demoted himself in the batting order didn’t fare any better.
Ramdin, however, continued hitting the odd boundaries in between as he reached half-century as wickets fell at the other end.
It was Mohammed Shami, who brought an end with a typical inswinging delivery that brought curtains down on a wonderful career.