The long wait is over. Sachin Tendulkar is now Test cricket's highest run scorer.
At 1431 IST, on a sunny Friday afternoon in Mohali, the Mumbai batsman scripted his name in cricketing history, bettering Brian Lara's record of 11,953 runs, in his 152nd Test, 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 since the West Indian great played his final Test.
Fireworks, congratulations from every member of the Australian team, a hug from fellow-batsman Sourav Ganguly and a long look into the sky by the ace batsman, and the moment had come, and gone.
Tendulkar 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 champions Australia.
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. Now two players stand the best chance of bettering Tendulkar's record. They are Rahul Dravid (10,341 runs) and Ricky Ponting (10,239).
Fifteen runs was Tendulkar's first target when he came out to bat on Friday afternoon after the fall of Rahul Dravid's wicket, in the second Test against Australia, and each of them was counted down.
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 two brought him 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 Siddle took Tendulkar from 11,951 to 11,954, and gave him sole ownership of the title of Test cricket's highest run-scorer.
This was Tendulkar's 152nd Test, and 247th innings, which includes 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 now is 54.02 against Lara's career mean of 52.88. What a record!
Join us in congratulating the master batsman on the feat: