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Friday, March 25, 2011

When Sachin rolled his arm over after a year and a half

The crowd at the Motera Stadium went berserk on Thursday when India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni called on Sachin Tendulkar to bowl the 30th over.

There was a deafening noise as the Little Master rolled his arm over in international cricket after nearly a year-and-half. Tendulkar had last bowled in November 2009 in Guwahati against the Australians.

His third delivery on Thursday was a beauty, it pitched on leg stump and spun past the face of Michael Clarke's bat just outside off stump. Clarke was flummoxed. Tendulkar gave away five and four runs respectively in the two overs he bowled.

Getting to the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera wasn't an easy task for fans yesterday. The drive from the city to the venue on the outskirts which takes about 20 minutes on a normal day, took almost an hour yesterday due to too much traffic as all roads seemed to be leading to the stadium.

Seeing the traffic, most fans decided to walk the final kilometre-plus stretch around the stadium, but that proved to be too tiring given the hot weather here around this time of the year.

The 35,000-odd vociferous crowd at the Sardar Patel Stadium were left thirsty and fuming on Thursday, given the limited availability of bottled water at the venue. By the time the Australian innings was over, there was no water left and fans were forced to settle for tap water to quench their thirst. Not that this disrupted their spirit one bit though. Every ball of the endearing contest was cheered enthusiastically. Sadly, there would have been quite a few dry throats at the end of it all.

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