India great Sachin Tendulkar fell agonisingly short of an unprecedented 100th international when he was dismissed for 91 on the fifth day of the fourth Test against England at The Oval here on Monday.
The 38-year-old, whose 51 Test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals are both world records, was closing in on three figures when he fell lbw to the first ball of seamer Tim Bresnan’s second spell on the last day of the series.
Australian umpire Rod Tucker took his time before raising his finger and replays indicated the ball would have just clipped leg stump.
Tendulkar, the leading run-scorer in the history of both Test and one-day international cricket, batted for nearly four hours, facing 172 balls with 11 fours.
This was easily Tendulkar’s best score of this series, surpassing the 57 he made in the second Test at Trent Bridge.
But his exit left India on 262 for five, still 29 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat that would give England a 4-0 series whitewash.
This series saw Tendulkar score 273 runs from eight innings at an average of 34.12.
Tendulkar’s next chance to reach the unprecedented landmark is set to come in the first of five one-day internationals between England and India at Chester-le-Street, north-east England, on September 3.
Suresh raina has since joined the icon back in the pavilio after being given out for nought, adjudged lbw despite replays suggesting an inside edge.