In the fitness of things, Sachin Tendulkar finished as the Man of the Match in his final Ranji Trophy match at Lahli, near Rohtak. Scoring just five runs in his first innings, Tendulkar's 79 not out in the second scripted a four-wicket win for the defending Ranji Trophy champions against Haryana on Wednesday. The Little Master was chaired off by teammates as the sleepy town of Lahli gave Tendulkar a standing ovation. However, the master blaster's attention quickly shifted to the upcoming series against the West Indies. The two Test-series will be Tendulkar's swansong. Kolkata will host Tendulkar's 199th Test while Wankhede will host the milestone 200th.
"West Indies are a good side and it will be a good series. I hope it produces good cricket and we live up to the expectations. I am looking forward to the series as it will be my last," the 40-year-old said.
The Haryana match was a good warm-up for Tendulkar. In a rather low-scoring tie, the wicket was not easy to bat in the fourth winning of a match. "On paper, it looked like a 240-run target, but it was almost like scoring 280. It was a challenging match and I am happy that we won in my last game for Mumbai," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar said he enjoyed the "competitive" flavor of the match. "This was the kind of outing I was looking forward to and it was fun. It was a good warm up before the Test series," Tendulkar said. Tendulkar has won five Ranji Trophy titles with Mumbai. (Mumbai vs Haryana, as it happened)
The master blaster, who played his 38th thanked the people of Lahli for a grand farewell and said the match was "challenging" as scoring 240 was not an easy job on a slow Chaudhary Bansi Lal Stadium wicket. Tendulkar had made his Ranji debut against Gujarat in December 1988.
Tendulkar thanked the people of Lahli for a making his final Ranji game a "memorable one." "The police did a wonderful job. The security was nice and I thank the organisers for making my stay at Lahli comfortable," he said.