Sachin Tendulkar bonds well with the Ferozeshah Kotla. It was here that he surpassed Sunil Gavaskar for the record number of Test tons. He also has the most number of runs in Tests and ODIs at this ground.
Thus when he was dismissed for a duck on Wednesday even-ing against Perth Scorchers, a hush fell on the large holiday crowd, disappointed he could be playing here for the last time. On the verge of becoming the first Indian to complete 50,000 runs across all formats, it was expected he’d get the remaining 21 runs needed on Wednesday.
But off the second ball he faced, he clipped one to be caught at deep midwicket. Back in the dugout, he sported a smile as he explained to Anil Kumble his inability to clear the fence.
The grin was perhaps due to the fact that he realised the risky shot early on was needed as Mumbai Indians were chasing 150 at over 10 an over. They had to win in 14.2 overs to stay alive in the Champions League T20. They won in 13.2, which knocked out the Otago Volts.
Tendulkar’s dismissal, however, brought in batsmen who had the ability to clear the fence every second or third ball. Dwayne Smith (48 off 25 balls), who’d opened with Tendulkar, was ferocious as he helped MI gallop at 12 an over.
When he was dismissed, MI were midway through in less than half the targeted overs.
Then, skipper Rohit Sharma took over, hammering fours sixes to reach 51 not out in 24 balls. His slog sweep that landed next to the dressing room was the most impressive. Keiron Pollard kept up the tempo at the other end before Ambati Rayudu came and applied the finishing touches with two sixes in a row as MI won in 13.2 overs, with six balls to spare.
MI had Nathan Coulter-Nile to thank for the win as well. Having opted to play for the IPL side instead of Scorchers, his 3/19 restricted Perth to 149.