Mohali, Oct 17 (UNI) The long wait is over. Sachin Tendulkar is now the highest Test run scorer in the world.
At 2.31 pm on a sunny afternoon here, Tendulkar scripted himself into cricketing history, bettering Brian Lara's record of 11,953 runs in his 152nd Test match before a small but appreciative crowd that applauded every run that took him closer to the landmark.
He achieved this landmark when he hit Peter Siddle to third man for two runs, erasing Lara's record that stood for nearly two years after the West Indian played his final Test.
Fireworks, congratulations from every member of the Australian team, a hug from fellow-batsman Sourav Ganguly and a long look up into the sky, and the moment had come, and gone.
Sachin is also one-day cricket's leading run-scorer with 16,631 runs.
The master blaster was expected to attain the feat in Sri Lanka recently but he had a poor series there scoring just 95 runs in three Tests.
However, it was befitting, that he achieved the record against World champion Australia, a team he has tormented in the past.
Lara too achieved the world record against Australia, when he went past Allan Border's tally of 11,174 runs during the Adelaide Test in 2005.
They are the only three players to cross the 11,000-run mark in Tests so far.
Now the two players who stand the best chance of bettering Sachin's record are Rahul Dravid (10,341) and Ricky Ponting (10,239).
Fifteen runs was the first target, and each one of them was counted down after Tendulkar walked in to bat at the fall of Rahul Dravid's wicket at 1.20 pm. A single, a steered brace, a flick to leg, a straight push, a cover-driven four that upped the glacial pace of scoring and then a flicked brace brought him to within a stroke of Lara's aggregate.
Another single to square carried the batsman into double figures.
Three runs later, it was time for the tea break.
The suspense thereafter was swift to end, a steered three off debutant Peter Siddle taking Tendulkar from 11,951 to 11,954, and sole ownership of the title of Test cricket's highest run-scorer.
This was Tendulkar's 152nd Test, and 247th inning with a highest of 248 not out. Against this, Lara got his runs in 131 matches (232 innings) with a Test best of 400 not out.
Tendulkar's average at this point in time is 54.02 against Lara's career mean of 52.88.
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