Vantage point

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Three and Five....Thirty Five

A tired but relentless Chaminda Vaas ran in to to bowl his 124th delivery of the day. Kumar Sangakkara was standing close to the stumps. The bowl pitched slightly outside leg stump and a bit short, and Sachin Tendulkar deftly turned the ball towards the vacant square leg region. He took a couple of steps and punched the air in delight. Punching the air in delight was not Sachin alone, but also millions of his fans all over the world.

The elusive 35th century, which had been fidgeting outside the door since over a year finally blew the door apart and joined the party. Deservingly, it was the longest celebration demonstrated by Sachin in the field, stretching for about 30 seconds. The Indian dressing room, led by skipper Rahul Dravid, leapt up in joy. Saurav Ganguly, his partner walked up and gave him a hug. The wait was over. The leading century maker was a tag now held by just one Indian instead of two.

As if acknowledging that the century is what the world was waiting for, the umpires walked up to the batsmen and offered them the light. They took it and the curtains came down on a day that belonged well and truly to India.