Mohali: The Sunday crowd at the PCA stadium here went back disappointed after batting icon Sachin Tendulkar missed by a whisker what would have been a well-deserved century on the third day of the first cricket Test between India and Australia.
The stadium, after recording poor turnouts in the first two days, came alive when fans turned up in large numbers to see the maestro in action.
They were excited to see the iconic batsman playing some elegant shots during his stay at the wicket, but excitement gave way to anticipation after Tendulkar entered the 90s.
Disaster struck when part-time off-spinner Marcus North had him trapped in front with the Mumbaikar on 98.
Suddenly there was ennui in the stands as a dejected Tendulkar made his way back to the dressing room.
“I am from Sydney and had come to Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. I am a great fan of Tendulkar and thought before the Games, it would be ideal to watch him in action. I was expecting him to reach his 100 without any problem, but it is sad that he couldn’t,” a dejected Peter Marsh said.
Disappointment was writ large on Aarav’s face, a 9th standard student in a Chandigarh school. “It’s terrible, he should have got it easily. I don’t believe he got out on 98,” he said.
Tendulkar’s unbeaten 126 against New Zealand in 1999 was the last time the champion batsman had scored a ton in a Test match here.
In a Test in 2005 against Pakistan at Mohali, Tendulkar had got out on 94 in the first innings, and was dismissed for 88 against the Aussies three years later.