Sachin Tendulkar notched up his 115th first-class fifty in his final Ranji Trophy innings for versus Haryana on Tuesday. This is also his 19th half-century in Ranji Trophy. (Day report)
Walking in to a rapturous welcome at the Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium, Tendulkar looked slightly tentative to begin with in his final Ranji innings. He faced Mohit Sharma - a bowler 15 years his junior but also someone who had dismissed him on five two days earlier. The veteran batsman though managed to gradually negotiate the extra bounce with ease. (Day 3 highlights)
Each and every shot from the heavy blade of Tendulkar was cheered by the locals though the runs also meant that their team was being forced to the narrow lanes of defeat. Haryana, in fact, did strike with the wicket of a well-set Kaustubh Pawar (47) but an aggressive Abhishek Nayar, in the company of his senior and famed partner, blunted the attack. (Match pics)
Both Nayar and Tendulkar stitched together a key partnership as one man's final journey also became another's strong statement of intent!
As a mark of respect, Haryana players saluted the veteran batsman before the Master Blaster walked out to bat for one last time in the domestic circuit.
In his last appearance for his Ranji Trophy side, Tendulkar showed his trademark class as he denied the bowlers and enthralled the spectators with four boundaries as he remained not out on 55 taking the match into the fourth and final day.
Mumbai were 201 for six at the close of play on Day 3 with the defending champions requiring another 39 to beat hosts Haryana and start their 2013-14 Ranji campaign on a winning note. Dhawal Kulkarni is the other not out batsman.