15 Nov 2013

Tendulkar goes out in style

7:24 pm on 15 November 2013

India cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has been dismissed for 74 in what his possibly his final test innings.

The 40-year-old was playing his 200th test match on Friday against the West Indies in his hometown of Mumbai.

The most prolific run-scorer in test history brought up his 68th test half-century in front of a packed stadium. But a stunned silence descended over the crowd when he was caught off the bowling of West Indies spinner Narsingh Deonarine for 74.

Earlier, fans cheered as he went to the crease, walking through a guard of honour created by his West Indian opponents in an emotional farewell at the end of a 24-year career.

Tendulkar led the team out onto the field at the stadium on Thursday morning and the toss took place with a specially minted coin bearing his image on one side. Cries of "Sachin! Sachin!" echoed throughout the day.

The player dubbed the "Little Master" is ending an international career during which he became the all-time leading test and one-day batsman and the only man to score 100 international centuries.

Excitement around his final match has been building since October, when he announced his intention to retire and caps a month-long outpouring of emotion from a cricket-mad nation of 1.2 billion people.

West Indies great Brian Lara described him as "the Muhammad Ali and the Michael Jordan of cricket".

Lara, who scored 11,953 runs in 131 Tests said: "Tendulkar has had the greatest cricket career of anyone who has ever played the game."

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne also praised the prolific batsman.

"There will not be another Sachin Tendulkar," Warne, who took 708 Test wickets, wrote in his column for the Daily Telegraph. "He was the best batsman of my generation."

Such has been the interest that a website selling tickets to the game crashed shortly after opening, receiving 19.7 million hits in the first hour, the BBC reports.

Fans have protested against the fact that only 5000 of the 33,000 tickets went on public sale, with the remainder of the seats being filled by politicians, celebrities, former players and corporate guests.