The Hero Cup hero
In the frenzy of Tendulkar's final two Tests, every action of his on the field has been celebrated, from walking out to play to saving a boundary. On day one at Eden Gardens, he gave his fans something more to cheer about when he trapped Shane Shillingford leg before with one that held its line (having bowled a legbreak and a googly before that). It was his 46th Test wicket. His short spell reminded many of the more famous over he bowled 20 years ago at the same venue: in the Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa. India captain Mohammad Azharuddin gave Tendulkar the last over when South Africa needed six runs. Fanie de Villiers was run out off the first ball when he was going for the second run; Tendulkar then bowled three dot balls; Allan Donald scampered a single off the fifth, which meant Brian McMillan had to hit a four to win the game. He swung at the ball but didn't connect cleanly and could only manage a single. India went on to beat West Indies by 102 runs in the final, where Tendulkar dismissed Brian Lara.
In this video a fan who was at the game and was planning to leave the stadium before the last over, and a photographer who has covered Tendulkar since his schoolboy years, recall that day.
In the Hindustan Times writer Dilip D'Souza, who lives opposite Tendulkar's house, ruefully writes that he has no exciting tales of Sachin sightings to narrate when his acquaintances ask him. Well, almost none.
Standing on the road waiting for my daughter's school bus, I saw his red car turn into the lane - aside: there's a "No Entry" sign there, sir! - and drive towards us, him at the wheel. For just an instant, our eyes met. This is where you might expect something significant about that instant. Sorry, nothing. He immediately looked away, to his left, to his gate that's just there. He turned in. The gate closed.