Mumbai: Senior India batsman Sachin Tendulkar 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 in Mumbai.
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, 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.
In international cricket, the iconic batsman has 100 hundreds, including 49 in ODIs, a format from which he retired before the home series against Pakistan recently.
Break-up of 100s of Gavaskar and Tendulkar in first class cricket: Gavaskar: 34 in Tests, 20 in Ranji Trophy, 3 in Irani Cup, 6 in Duleep Trophy, 1 for Rest of the World against England (his last first class game), 2 in county cricket for Somerset and 15 in other games including a century against Sri Lanka in 1974-75 in unofficial Test.
Tendulkar: 51 in Tests, 18 in Ranji Trophy, 2 in Irani Cup, 3 in Duleep Trophy, 1 in county cricket for Yorkshire and 6 in other games.