Kolkata: It was heartbreak for Eden Gardens as farewell man Sachin Tendulkar, expected to script a memorable innings in his swansong match on the iconic ground, got out cheaply to a contentious decision Thursday on day two of the India-West Indies Test match here.
A pindrop silence descended on the Eden as umpire Nigel Llong raised his finger while the Windies players jumped in joy. The crowd was cheering every move of the cricketing genius since he came out to bat. The entire stadium rose as Tendulkar made the long walk back to the pavilion, but the ovation was tinged with sadness.
Facing offie Shane Shillingford, Tendulkar tried to defend from his crease and the ball straightened past the outside edge and hit the back leg quite high. Tendulkar, who has been the victim of dubious decisions on a number of occasions earlier, went out silently but anguish and pain were writ large on his face.
Heading towards the dressing room, Tendulkar made his displeasure over the decision known when he gestured to the team video analyst about the height of the ball. Tendulkar hit two crisp boundaries in his short 41-minute stint at the crease scoring 10 runs facing 24 balls.
Rarely does the fall of an Indian wicket trigger unending roars from the home crowd. But the iconic stadium witnessed loud cheers when opener Murli Vijay fell in the mornign, for the next man in was none other than the batting maestro himself.
As Tendulkar walked in,, the whole stadium rose in unison giving a standing ovation to the man who has got unmatched adulation from the crowd wherever he has played. The claps, roars and chants of 'Sachin Sachin!' filled the atmosphere with every step of the little master towards the pitch.
With West Indies fielders surrounding Tendulkar as he took guard, the whole stadium waited with bated breath for his first run. When he got off the mark easing the ball towards point, there was a deafening roar.
Eden, which hoped the master would script an unforgettable farewell, once again broke into rapturous applause when Tendulkar elegantly drove offie Shillingford past midwicket to hit his first boundary.
But all their expectations and hopes of a fairytale farewell innings from the batsman turned into a heartbreak. The spectators would now pin their hopes on Tendulkar coming out once again to bat in India's second innings even though the thin crowd punctured tall claims of a full house, and the hype surrounding the match.