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'Tendulkar innings was the difference' - Jadeja

Sachin Tendulkar talks to members of the Haryana Ranji team Twitter/Anirudh Chaudhry

Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 79 in his final domestic match was the difference between Mumbai and Haryana, Ajay Jadeja has said.

"The innings he played made all the difference," Jadeja, the Haryana captain, said. "In a score of 240, if someone makes 79 not out, then that settles the game. If he is not out, this only tells you that if they needed 25 more or 50 more he may still have got them. Till you get a batsman out, there's always the chance that he'll take the game away from you."

Jadeja tried about as hard as he could to make things difficult for Mumbai with innovative field placements, something his counterpart Zaheer Khan commended. Jadeja placed third man so fine at times for Tendulkar he was standing beside the sightscreen in line behind second slip. He let Dhawal Kulkarni face a bouncer barrage from Mohit Sharma with a short leg and a silly point standing in the batsman's face. Jadeja felt Haryana were in the game till the very end.

"Yes, we lost, but as Zaheer said, no one knew who was going to win till the end. If you look at Mumbai they have lost only 19 matches in the last 70 years Even with only four runs needed I felt we had a chance. Gameplans come and go, some work, some don't. It was pretty simple, we had to get Tendulkar. There's no team in the world that can win when Tendulkar is in the opposition and you don't get him out. We tried but we couldn't. You call him god, I call him master. If you go by what you call him, then who can fight god and win?"

Jadeja said despite the loss, his players would take a lot from this match, and hoped that Haryana would get an opportunity to play Mumbai again in the knockouts. "I don't think there is anyone in the Haryana dressing room who thinks we haven't progressed in the last four days. The journey never ends. Sachin showed us today that even after 25 years the journey doesn't end. There's always something more to learn.

"We have to get better and make progress. There will be losses along the way. But, hopefully we'll have a chance to play Mumbai again this season, in the final or one of the knockouts. You can't win the Ranji Trophy without beating Mumbai."

The game, played in the village of Lahli outside the city of Rohtak, was watched by thousands of fans on all four days. Jadeja said that at smaller venues, one usually got good attendances, which boosted the players. "Any player wants to see people watching him. Unfortunately, most of us who live in cities don't have the time to go and watch Ranji Trophy games. Here we do get people. If you are in a smaller town, you get crowds and that encourages players to give their best. At the end of the day we are here to play and if there's no one watching it's not as much fun as when there's a full house, whether that's 5000 or 10,000 or 100,000."

Mumbai 4th innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st1W JafferKR Pawar
2nd86AM RahaneKR Pawar
3rd22SR TendulkarKR Pawar
4th51SR TendulkarAM Nayar
5th7SR TendulkarAP Tare
6th23SR TendulkarHN Shah
7th50SR TendulkarDS Kulkarni

Ranji Trophy

Elite, Group A
TEAMMWLDPTNRR
SAU520319-0.035
GUJ5203170.311
BRODA5113130.392
VIDAR4103120.134
KNTKA411212-0.039
MAHA40137-0.175
RLYS40137-0.181
MUM40135-0.074
CGARH50233-0.392
Elite, Group B
TEAMMWLDPTNRR
MP520318-0.353
KER5221130.222
BENG4112120.12
HYD511312-0.162
TN5113110.075
PNJB411290.457
HP41129-0.332
DELHI401370.009
AP40135-0.074
Elite, Group C
TEAMMWLDPTNRR
RAJ540128-0.267
UP5302240.506
JKAND5311210.348
HRYNA5221150.188
ASSAM522114-0.157
ODSH5221130.002
SVCS511390.097
J + K513170.211
GOA50326-0.656
TPURA50413-0.222
Plate Group
TEAMMWLDPTNRR
UKHND5500330.68
MEGHA5311190.483
PONDI4201180.898
Bihar4210141.14
SIKM523013-0.286
MNPR523012-0.124
NAGA41307-0.069
ARPR40313-1.506
MIZOR40311-1.105