PHOTOS: Tendulkar wins farewell Ranji game, celebrates with Mumbai team
Sachin Tendulkar ended his domestic career on a winning note, after his unbeaten half-century carried Mumbai to a four-wicket victory over Haryana in the opening match of the Ranji Trophy season in Lahli, near Rohtak, on Wednesday.
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Following the victory, the batting icon was chaired off the ground by his delighted Mumbai team mates.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar is chaired off the ground by his Mumbai team mates after victory over Haryana, in Lahli, on Wednesday.
'It had a lot for the bowlers, but it was fun to bat on this wicket'
Tendulkar, who scored 79 not out in the second innings, said it was a difficult wicket to score runs on, but it turned out to be perfect in terms of getting practice for the West Indies Test series next month.
"It was a challenging wicket. It had a lot for the bowlers, but it was fun to bat on this wicket. The bowlers were getting assistance from the wicket, so it was not easy to score runs," he said after the match.
"240 was a big total to chase. The outfield was also on the slower side. 240 looked like 280 to chase on this wicket. This is just the kind of outing I was looking for," he added.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar celebrates
Tendulkar will retire after next month's Test series against the West Indies
Requiring 39 runs to win, with four wickets in hand, on the fourth and final day, Tendulkar, overnight on 55, went on to score a calculated 175-ball unbeaten 79, building his innings in the manner that has been the hallmark of his later years.
Tendulkar will retire after next month's Test series against the West Indies, which will culminate with the second and his landmark 200th Test, in Mumbai. It will bring down the curtain on his glorious 24-year tryst with international cricket.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
'Thank you very much for making this match a memorable one'
At the end of it all, the Little Master thanked the people of Lahli for their encouragement through the four-day match.
"I would like to thank Haryana Cricket Association for making my stay a memorable one. I would also like to thank the security -- the police did a fantastic job. Thanks to [Haryana Cricket Association secretary] Anirudh Chaudhary for making my stay comfortable; a big thank you to the Lahli crowd, and thanks for all the support and love over the years.
"I really appreciate every bit of your support and good wishes. Thank you very much for making this match a memorable one," Tendulkar said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar