Sachin Tendulkar failed with the bat but still ended a World Cup-winner for the first time on Saturday as India defeated Sri Lanka by six wickets in the final.
Many fans in a capacity 33,000 crowd had piled into the Wankhede Stadium hoping to see the 37-year-old Tendulkar, on his home ground, score his hundredth international hundred.
But instead the star batsman, bidding to fulfil a lifelong ambition by winning the World Cup at his sixth — and in all likelihood last — attempt, was dismissed for just 18.
It had seemed as if Tendulkar and India might be outshone by a masterful hundred from Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene, who made 103 not out in a total of 274 for six after the islanders won the toss and batted.
India’s millions of fans around the world were stunned when, in reply, Virender Sehwag was lbw for nought second ball to Lasith Malinga.
Tendulkar, who has 51 Test hundreds and 48 in one-day internationals, produced two stylish boundaries, driving Nuwan Kulasekara down the ground and cutting him for another four.
But his brief, 14-ball innings ended when he tried to steer Malinga through the off-side only to be caught behind by Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara to leave India 31 for two. Tendulkar walked off to the kind of standing ovation usually reserved for batsmen who’ve scored far more than 18, in what was a recognition of his previous great deeds rather than this innings.
Sachin Tendulkar said he could not hold back his tears after India thrashed Sri Lanka in the World Cup final on Saturday to win the “ultimate” prize after a gap of 28 years.
“I couldn’t have asked for more,” said Tendulkar, as his team-mates carried him on their shoulders for a victory lap before adoring fans at the Wankhede Satdium. Agencies