Sachin Tendulkar hit an unbeaten 79 as Mumbai beat Haryana by four wickets in their Ranji Trophy Group A match at the Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli on Wednesday.

Tendulkar hit six boundaries in his match-winning knock that helped Mumbai gain six points.

Chasing 240 runs on a Lahli pitch which exhorted batsmen to exhibit some skill, Mumbai finished just 39 runs short but lost six wickets in the bargain on Tuesday.

A considerable part of Tendulkar's career has been spent playing lone ranger, a beacon of brilliance amid mediocrity. As can be expected in such situations, happy endings aren't always a guarantee. When they do come they are the icing on the cake, a tangible gift to make the effort worthwhile.

And playing probably his last Ranji Trophy match, Tendulkar ensured he was there at the crease and not biting his nails in the pavillion and his unbeaten knock also ensured that Mumbai did not suffer a heartbreak like they did in 1991 when Tendulkar last played against Haryana and Mumbai fell just two runs short.

After 24 years of hard toil, including a decade and a bit in which he was single-handedly expected to carve every India victory, after a lifetime spent battling cynics who turned on him every time he didn't finish a game, there was no rest for Tendulkar. Not even in his last Ranji Trophy game.

This was supposed to be a festive farewell, a seemingly cushy affair pitting the defending champions Mumbai against the relatively weaker Haryana, but instead the ball has largely had the upper hand to make it a fascinating contest of high standards.

Like always, Tendulkar's team needed his bat to do the talking. And Tendulkar responded with trademark determination.

At stumps on Day 3, Tendulkar scored his 115th first-class half-century to close things out and avoid any mishaps.

Sachin Tendulkar More Stills

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