Senior India batsman Sachin Tendulkar today equalled Sunil Gavaskar’s record number of first class hundreds by cracking a superb century against Rest of India on day three of the Irani Cup here.
Coming into the match one short of fellow Mumbaikar Gavaskar in the Indian record list of 81 first class hundreds, Tendulkar struck his 30th ton in his other first class cricket matches and 18th for his home state Mumbai at the Wankhede Stadium here.
Gavaskar had notched up 81 first class hundreds between 1971 and 1997, including 34 in 125 Tests for India.
In the course of his superb tuning up innings for the upcoming four-Test series against Australia, the 39-year-old Tendulkar also crossed another milestone — 25,000 runs in first class cricket.
Tendulkar, who has 51 Test hundreds in 194 games, needed 104 when he went out to bat in his 479th innings in first class cricket for reaching the second landmark.
Coming in at three down, one place below his normal batting order as night watchman Shardul Thakur was sent in ahead of him late yesterday, Tendulkar played some breathtaking shots, especially in the arc between long-off and cover, to bring up his new landmark in his 303rd first class game.
He completed the 100 with a single off S Sreesanth who tried to unsettle him with short-pitched balls. Tendulkar took 139 balls and 228 minutes to bring up his hundred, which was enshrined with 12 fours and two sixes — one each off left arm spinner Pragyan Ojha and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, the second one also bringing his half century.
Tendulkar’s maiden first class hundred had also come at the same ground against Gujarat in December, 1988.