Mumbai, Feb 8: Sachin Tendulkar was in superb form at the Wankhede Stadium but his Mumbai team-mates refused to give him company on Friday. The Master Blaster's unbeaten 140 was the highlight of third day's play in Irani Cup against Rest of India (ROI) at Wankhede Stadium. Despite Tendulkar's ton, ROI were on top with a 117-run lead. Tendulkar scored his 81st hundred in first-class cricket to equal Indian record with Sunil Gavaskar. At stumps, ROI were 27/1 in second innings. Shikhar Dhawan was out for a duck, off Dhawal Kulkarni.
Mumbai were bowled out for 409 in 114.1 overs in final session. Tendulkar could have gone on further but he ran out of partners, more due to inexplicable shot-selection. The 39-year-old Tendulkar hit 18 boundaries and two sixes in his 197-ball knock. Barring a collapse in the second innings for ROI, this match is in their bag with two days left.
Harbhajan Singh had three wickets while Pragyan Ojha, Abhimanyu Mithun and Ishwar Pandey had two apiece. Ojha, when he dismissed Dhawal Kulkarni, captured his 300th first-class wicket.
Brief Scores: Mumbai 409 all out in 114.1 overs (Sachin Tendulkar 140 not out, Wasim Jaffer 80, Ajinkya Rahane 83, Ankeet Chavan 49, Harbhajan Singh 3/64, Ishwar Pandey 2/76, Abhimanyu Mithun 2/73, Pragyan Ojha 2/103) Vs Rest of India 526 and 27/1 in 5 overs
At tea: Mumbai 350/6
Tendulkar equalled Sunil Gavaskar's Indian record for most centuries in first-class cricket with hundred number 81 to rescue Mumbai against ROI.
At tea, Mumbai had moved to 350/6 in 97 overs with Tendulkar 108 not out and Ankeet Chavan batting on 40. Rest of India made 526 all out.
It was a day to remember for Tendulkar. Known to set records, the Master Blaster equalled Gavaskar and also became the second Indian to complete 25,000 first-class runs.
At 257/6, Mumbai were in a spot of bother but Tendulkar stood there to take them to safety in the company of left-hander Chavan.
Tendulkar reached to his hundred with a single off S Sreesanth. He moved from 100 to 104 with a boundary and brought up 25,000 runs. Tendulkar is playing his 303rd first-class match.
At lunch: Mumbai 255/5
Tendulkar scored his 114th half century in first-class cricket but Mumbai were struggling against Rest of India (ROI).
Mumbai lost three wickets in the morning session and went to lunch at 255/5 in 73 overs. The hosts' innings will now depend on Tendulkar (59 not out, 90 balls, 6x4, 2x6)) and captain Abhishek Nayar (1 not out) as they still trail by 271 runs.
After a cautious start, Tendulkar began to play his shots. For the first 24 balls in his innings, he managed just five with one boundary. But as he spent time in the middle, the Master Blaster found his rhythm.
He brought up his fifty with a six over midwicket off Harbhajan Singh. Tendulkar moved closer to 25,000 first-class runs. He had begun this match needing 104 to reach the milestone.
With Tendulkar going well at one end, Ajinkya Rahane too was proving his worth with him. But Rahane's knock of 83 was cruelly cut by umpire Subroto Das who failed to spot an edge and ruled him out LBW to Harbhajan.
Rohit Sharma, after joining Tendulkar, failed to to score in his 12-ball stay. It was a horrendous shot from the youngster with just about 15 minutes for lunch. He tried to slog-sweep Harbhajan and only managed to give a catch to Pragyan Ojha.
Tendulkar and Rahane added 73 runs for the fourth wicket in 20.4 overs. Harbhajan took two wickets. In today's first session of play, nightwatchman Shardul Thakur was the other batsman to be dismissed. ROI bowled only 30 overs in two and half hours.