18th March 2012, India vs Pakistan Asia Cup encounter. A perfect setting for Sachin Tendulkar to play his final ODI. He already made a mark in the series previously by scoring a superlative century against Bangladesh which was his 100th international hundred.
Batting first Pakistan piled up 329 with openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed scoring centuries and putting up an opening partnership of 224, Pakistan’s highest till date. Younis Khan’s late flourish fuelled Pakistan’s total to a score of respectability after their 50 overs. Tendulkar also rolled his arm for just 10 deliveries giving away 12 runs.
India started their chase on their bad note. Hafeez picked up Gambhir in the first over of the Indian chase. It was then that Virat Kohli played one of the best innings of his life, thereby making Sachin’s last match a memorable one. Virat Kohli scored a career best 183 as he murdered the Pakistan bowling attack having the likes of Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli resurrected the innings for India with a stand of 133 runs in 19 overs, a partnership in which Kohli was the chief contributor.
While Tendulkar brought up his 96th half-century in ODIs, Kohli, with his efficacy in run-chases, displayed every bit of his talent in his matured contribution.
Sachin Tendulkar also scored 52 in the match, thereby giving the cricket fans a moment of nostalgia. Sachin was out to Saeed Ajmal, thereby giving him a moment of nostalgia as well.
It was a very fitting end to an India Pakistan encounter as the match went right down to the wire with India winning the match by 6 wickets courtesy a marathon innings from Kohli.
With 659 runs scored in 98 overs, the extravaganza had every cricket fanatic on the edge of their seat as it turned out to be a nail biter, cliffhanger whatever you may call it.
You can watch Sachin’s last innings in this video: