Kolkata: They queued up to watch Sachin Tendulkar bat in his penultimate Test but even before fans at the Eden Gardens settled down on their seats, they were left disappointed when the retiring icon walked back to the pavillion just 41 minutes after coming in.
When Tendulkar came in to bat just 39 minutes after the second day of the first India-West Indies Test began, some of his fans were still trickling into the stadium as not many had expected an early fall of Indian wickets.
And when the 40-year-old was dismissed 41 minutes later, after scoring 10 runs from 24 balls, the fans endured a heartbreak.
It was a sold-out second day in the India-West Indies opening Test of the two-match series as Tendulkar was to bat in his penultimate international match.
"I came to watch him play some of his favourite shots. He displayed some form initially which kept our hopes alive that he will hit a century in his farewell to Eden. But this is disappointing," a 21-year-old college student Mallika Sarkar said.
Tendulkar took guard at 9.39am after Indian opener Murali Vijay was stumped when he tried to step out to off-spinner Shane Shillingford.
It was India's second wicket but the crowd started cheering as the number four got ready to walk in to play in his penultimate international match.
Most of them took out their camera-phones to capture the moment when Tendulkar came in to a standing ovation from the 30,000-odd crowd.
Tendulkar started tentatively with a Shillingford off-break staying low, while the next ball swayed to the leg-side hitting his pads for a leg-bye.
In the next over, pacer Tino Best kept attacking his stumps as the ball showed signs of reverse swing but Tendulkar held his ground and was off the mark in the fourth ball with a single to the point region.
Having opened his account, the maestro was in his usual self as he hit Shillingford for a boundary, the first of the morning.
There was another boundary in store with a similar leg glance to Shillingford as the thin crowd successfully created a Mexican wave to cheer for him.
But Tendulkar's solid-looking innings was cut short by England umpire Nigel Llong, who adjudged the Indian senior batsman LBW to a rising doosra from Shillingford. To the West Indian's credit, he exploited the maestro's weakness to the stock delivery.
The replays showed that the ball had an impact on his backfoot, but at least four inches above the stumps line but Llong had a different idea, something that muted the crowd.