New Delhi: India's Sachin Tendulkar was made to wait for his 100th international hundred when, after being dropped four times, he was out for 85 against Pakistan in the World Cup semi-final Wednesday.
The 'Little Master' -- who has 51 Test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals -- led a charmed life, seeing an lbw decision overturned in his favour when he was on 23 before poor Pakistan fielding saw him reprieved on 27, 45, 70 and 81.
He was finally out, caught by Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi off Saeed Ajmal in the 37th over.
Ajmal nearly had him out twice in successive balls for 23, seeing an lbw decision overturned on review before Kamran Akmal's stumping appeal failed to convince the third umpire.
Then, on 27, Tendulkar pulled leg-spinner Afridi hard to short mid-wicket only for Misbah-ul-Haq to drop the two-handed catch.
He was dropped again, on 45, when he mistimed a drive off Afridi and Younus Khan at mid-off, after juggling the ball, failed to hold a relatively straightforward chance.
The 37-year-old Tendulkar completed a 67-ball fifty when he struck Afridi through extra-cover for his eighth four.
He was given a third reprieve by Pakistan on 70 when Kamran Akmal failed to hold a tough chance after the ball deviated sharply following his edge off an Afridi leg-break.
And he was on 81 when a leaping Umar Akmal at short mid-wicket got both hands to a checked drive against off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez but could not cling on.
However, Afridi -- who had vowed Tendulkar would not reach the landmark score in this match -- ended his innings when he took a sharp catch at short extra-cover off a hard-hit drive against Ajmal.
Tendulkar faced 115 balls with 11 fours.
He was appearing in his 452nd ODI and has also played in 177 Tests since making his debut as a 16-year-old against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989.
This tournament represents Tendulkar's last realistic chance to win the World Cup -- the only time India have lifted the trophy was back in 1983 when he was still a schoolboy.