Gautam Gambhir walked into the sunset by scoring a memorable hundred in his farewell Ranji match against Andhra Pradesh on Saturday at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi. Playing the last competitive game of his glittering career, the left-handed batsman brought up his 43rd first-class hundred with a quick double in the fourth over of the day.
The celebration was short as the southpaw acknowledged a round of applause from the sparsely populated crowd at Kotla and quickly got his focus back, intent on making it count one last time. However, the euphoria did not last long as the 37-year old was caught behind off Shoaib Khan for 112 (185 balls).
Resuming his innings on an overnight score of 92, the 37-year-old was once again greeted with a warm welcome on a crisp winter morning. Banners of ‘ Thank You Gauti’ beside the New Pavilion added to the emotional overtone surrounding the match. Showing no signs of nerves, Gambhir got off the mark with a single. On 94, he struck his ninth boundary of the innings and moved to 98. A swift double enabled him to reach the cherished three-figure mark.
But once again it was Andhra’s left-arm spinner Manish Golamaru, who kept troubling Gambhir as the veteran survived a scare when he was dropped at leg slip on 105. Last evening Golamaru almost bagged his opposite number but two dropped chances left him wicketless. Gambhir’s vigil came to an end when he knicked one back to the keeper on 112. In his last hurrah, the former Delhi skipper got the farewell he deserved at his spiritual home.
MUST WATCH: @GautamGambhir‘s farewell century
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) December 8, 2018
After 15 years of international cricket for India, World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir announced his retirement from all formats of cricket – in an emotional Facebook video on Tuesday. Gambhir retires after last playing for the country in 2016 against England in Rajkot. He scored 4154 runs in Test cricket from 58 matches, 5238 runs in ODIs and 932 in T20Is.
In first-class cricket, Gambhir accumulated 15,041 runs and a massive 10,077 runs in List A cricket. In IPL, he led Kolkata Knight Riders to two titles – in 2012 and 2014. His shining moment may be the 2011 World Cup where he scored 97 from 122 balls in the final against Sri Lanka to steer India to the first title since 1983. He was also part of India’s World T20 winning squad in 2007.