Sachin Tendulkar, on Sunday, picked up the bat for the first time in five years to play an over for a charity match to aid Australian bushfire relief at the Junction Oval, Melbourne.
The 46-year-old, who acted as a coach of the team led by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting against Adam Gilchrist’s Gilchrist XI in the charity game, played an over by Australia's star all-rounder and 2019 Women's Cricketer of the Year Ellyse Perry during the innings break, and hit a boundary off the very first ball of the over.
Prior to his innings, former teammate Yuvraj Singh had revealed that to face six balls, the World Cup winner spent as many as 40 minutes in the nets.
"He said he is going to play just six balls, but he batted for 40 minutes in the nets," Yuvraj told in a video to Cricket.com.au.
The game, which raised money for the victims of Australia’s brutal bushfires, had Ponting’s XI scoring 104/5 in 10 overs on the back of their captain’s (26) as well Brian Lara’s (30) brilliant knocks. In turn, Gilchrist’s men managed to almost pull off the game, only to come two runs short of the target.
Apart from Tendulkar’s batting, the game also had the last-ball drama in store. By the end of the ninth over, Gilchrist XI needed 17 off the final over. As the game progressed, the figures were reduced to 10 runs off the final ball. Call it destiny but Daniel Christian, who was bowling the final over, was hit for a boundary by Nick Riewoldt, and the umpire adjudged it as a no-ball, meaning that Ponting’s men were now five runs short with a ball to go.
Riewoldt hit the final ball towards Phoebe Litchfield at long-on and started running ‘between the wickets’. Christian jokingly threw the ball back to Litchfield and it gave Riewoldt and his batting partner Cameron Smith to sum the game as it was expected to. Gilchrist XI ended their innings at 103/6.
Meanwhile, fans across the globe just couldn’t contain their excitement to see Tendulkar back on the field and this is how they reacted to it:
The first ball, Our @sachin_rt has faced after 5 and 1/2 Years.. @EllysePerry is very lucky to bowl for Sachin. It Reminds me My Childhood Memories.. #SachinTendulkar— Daniel Williams (@itz_DonDaniel) February 9, 2020
Legends Never Retired!https://t.co/tjeHM2eq8I
Form is temporary but class is permanent 🏏🏏👌👌❣️❣️— Nalin Saxena (@cool_nalin) February 9, 2020
Playing after 5.5 years , the legend hits the very first ball for a four🏏🏏#SachinTendulkar#MasterBlaster#BushfireCricketBash#BigAppeal pic.twitter.com/hX3ONE6nbT
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @AusWomenCricket