|India v West Indies: Third Test scorecard|
Sachin Tendulkar fell six runs short of his 100th international hundred in the third and final Test with West Indies.
Having eased from 67 to 94 on day four in his home city Mumbai, he sliced Ravi Rampaul to Darren Sammy at second slip.
Tendulkar, who has 51 Test centuries and 48 in one-day internationals, has been stuck on 99 hundreds since March.
There will be no imminent chance to reach the feat after he was left out of India's squad for the first three one-day internationals with the Windies.
It is unclear if Tendulkar will return for the final two matches of the one-day series with the Windies, which take place in Indore on 8 December and Chennai three days later.
Should he not feature in those games, the legendary 38-year-old's next international opportunity is expected to be the Boxing Day Test against Australia at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The Mumbai crowd, who were packed into the Wankhede Stadium in anticipation of Tendulkar's achievement, were left stunned as their idol came so close to the feat that has been expected of him since the World Cup earlier this year.
Anticipation has grown after he made his 99th hundred against South Africa at the World Cup, and interest centred on him throughout India's troubled summer tour of England - where the nearest he came to three figures was
Having been dropped by wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh off leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo with his score on 58 on Thursday, Tendulkar began day four in confident fashion, hitting paceman Rampaul for two fours off successive overs despite overnight partner VVS Laxman falling to the first ball he faced.
The "Little Master" then took 14 off an over from Fidel Edwards, including a cover-driven four and a six over the slips, to move into the 90s.
But on the last ball of the 87th over, Rampaul struck to leave India's fans playing the waiting game again as their remaining batsmen successfully battled to save the follow-on.
The local media were left as stunned as the supporters - with NDTV describing it as "the biggest heartbreak ever".
With the match looking likely to finish as a draw after West Indies ended the day on 81-2 in their second innings, an overall lead of 189, Tendulkar may not get a chance to bat again until the five-game one-day international series starts on Tuesday.
He remains the leading all-time Test run-scorer by a distance, having and is more than 2,000 ahead of his nearest challenger - his long-term team-mate Rahul Dravid, who became only the second man to score 13,000 Test runs on his way to making 82 on Thursday.