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Millennium Post

More the merrier

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s record-equalling 81st first class century was not enough for Mumbai as Rest of India (RoI) bowled out the hosts, taking the significant first innings lead on the third day of the Irani Cup at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday. At the close of play, Rest of India were 27 for one with a lead of 144 runs after bowling Mumbai out for 409. rest of India made 526 in their first innings.

Resuming the day at 155/2, Mumbai’s Shardul Thakur (4) was immediately caught off Ishwar Pandey, which brought in Tendulkar at No.5. Ajinkya Rahane (83) and Tendulkar (140 not out) put together 73 runs before Rahane departed, caught plumb by Harbhajan Singh. Rohit Sharma (0) and skipper Abhishek Nayar (1) came and went quickly, leaving Mumbai in a spot of bother. But Chavan (49) and Tendulkar put together 103 runs before Chavan was caught by Bengal wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha with the scoreboard reading 360 for 7. The lower order could not support Tendulkar for long and the 40-time Ranji Trophy champions were bowled out. Tendulkar showed his master-class at his home ground as he went from strength-to-strength against an effective Rest of India bowling attack, hitting 18 boundaries and two sixes in 197 balls.

Tendulkar equalled Sunil Gavaskar’s long-standing record of most centuries in Indian First Class cricket. In the process, Tendulkar also totalled 25,000 runs in this format. Fifty-one of his hundreds have come while playing for India, 18 for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy, three in the Duleep Trophy, two in Irani Cup, five in India’s tour games, one against a visiting side and one for Yorkshire.

The maestro also became the 43rd batsman in all First Class cricket to have made at least 81 hundreds. The record for most centuries is owned by Jack Hobbs, who scored 199 centuries. Harbhajan was the most successful bowler, taking 3/64 in 21 overs. Pandey, Mithun and Ojha chipped in with two wickets each.
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