You know Sachin Tendulkar owns every batting record worth owning in international cricket. However, two vital Indian first-class records — that of most runs and most centuries — are still held by the evergreen Sunil Manohar Gavaskar, the country’s original ‘Little Master’. Tendulkar, though, is in touching distance of one of them.
When Mumbai began proceedings on Day Five of their Ranji Trophy quarterfinal tie against Baroda at the Wankhede on Thursday, the only point of interest was when would the hosts lose their second wicket so that Tendulkar could come out and register his 81st first-class hundred to equal his boyhood idol. His 80th came in the first innings of the same match last Sunday.
And left-hander Hiken Shah didn’t ‘disappoint’. The No 3 bat top-edged Bhargav Bhatt to short fine-leg to be dismissed for 79 (128 balls, 9x4, 1x6). The motley crew of spectators in the Vijay Merchant Pavilion didn’t hide their excitement. Tendulkar made his intentions amply clear. After collecting three singles, he lofted Bhatt for a six into, well, the Sachin Tendulkar Stand.
By now, the pitch had — for the first time in five days — started to assist the spinners. The very next ball, the left-arm tweaker brought Tendulkar forward and induced an edge. And again, for the first time in the contest, Yusuf Pathan took a catch — a good one at that — to send the maestro back for nine (7 balls, 1x6).
Mumbai, who began the day on 171/1, surprisingly declared their innings at lunch. By then, they had posted 295/6 for an overall lead of 669 runs! Kaustubh Pawar brought up his second century of the season, cracking a rather strokeful 115 (234 balls, 12x4, 2x6). Bhatt finished with match figures of five for 234. The visitors, who batted 30 minutes into the final session, made 137/3 in 42 overs.
Mumbai 1st innings: 645/9 decl
Baroda 1st innings: 271
Mumbai 2nd innings (overnight 171/1): K Pawar st Shah b Patel 115, H Shah c Rayudu b Bhatt 79, S Tendulkar c Yusuf b Bhatt 9, A Nayar c (sub) Gupta b Patel 8, A Tare c Devdhar b Bhatt 27, A Chavan not out 14, D Kulkarni not out 2
Extras: (B5, LB1, NB2) 8; Total: (six wickets decl; 87 overs) 295; FoW: 2-203, 3-217, 4-226, 5-279, 6-279; Bowling: G Singh 8-1-26-0 (NB2), B Bhatt 37-7-106-3, A Rayudu 8-1-32-1, K Patel 30-3-108-2, A Waghmode 4-0-17-0
Baroda 2nd innings (target: 670): S Wakaskar c Kulkarni b Dabholkar 42, A Waghmode lbw b Chauhan 60, A Chauhan c & b Chavan 6, K Devdhar not out 6, A Rayudu not out 19
Extras: (LB1, W1, NB2) 4; Total: (three wickets; 42 overs) 137; FoW: 1-101, 2-111, 3-111; Bowling: J Khan 6-2-16-0, D Kulkarni 4-2-4-0 (NB1), A Chavan 15-4-42-2, V Dabholkar 14-2-63-1 (NB1), K Pawar 3-1-11-0 (W1)