Mumbai, Feb 8: Sachin Tendulkar scored a magnificent century for Mumbai against Rest of India in Irani Cup on Friday to equal Sunil Gavaskar's Indian first-class record of 81 hundreds. He remained not out on 140 in Mumbai's 409 all out.
Tendulkar, playing his 303rd first-class match, at his home ground Wankhede Stadium, looked in great touch against ROI. This was also Tendulkar's only second Irani Cup hundred. His other ton in Irani Cup had come in 1989 at the same venue against Delhi as a 16-year-old.
Tendulkar reached to his hundred in post-lunch session on the third day. He moved from 95 to 99 with a superb cover drive off S Sreesanth. He got to the landmark in the next over of Sreesanth with a single to the on-side. He took 139 balls for his 100.
Earlier, he had made a cautious start and was unbeaten on 59 at lunch. The Master Blaster has 51 centuries from 194 Tests. Gavaskar scored 34 Test hundreds in 125 matches.
Tendulkar also completed 25,000 first-class runs. He is the second Indian after Gavaskar (25,834) in the elite club. The 39-year-old had started this game needing 104 runs to reach 25,000 first-class runs.
Gavaskar's record had stood for a long time and now Tendulkar has equalled the feat. With Australia Test series beginning on February 22, Tendulkar has a chance to go past the former India captain.
When Tendulkar scored his 34th century to equal Gavaskar in Tests, in Dhaka, the latter was at the stadium. He had later gifted Tendulkar with 34 champagne bottles. But this time, Gavaskar was not at the Wankhede Stadium to see the feat. However, in one of his commentary stints last year, Gavaskar had joked that he might be able to present Tendulkar with 81 champagne bottles!
List of Indian batsmen with most first-class hundreds
Sachin Tendulkar/Sunil Gavaskar 81
Rahul Dravid 68
Vijay Hazare 60
Dilp Vengsarkar/VVS Laxman 55
Mohammad Azharuddin 54