Mumbai, Nov 2 (IANS) Sachin Tendulkar struck form and Ajinkya Rahane sent a strong message to the selectors by scoring centuries to put Mumbai in command against Railways after the first day's play in a Group A Ranji Trophy tie at the Wankhede Stadium here Friday.
Tendulkar made a quick-fire 137 off 136 balls while Rahane remained unbeaten on 105 as Mumbai made 344 for four at stumps.
The two came out to bat when Mumbai were struggling at 143 for three. From then on they added 200 runs for the fourth wicket that put Mumbai in the driving seat.
Asked to bat first, Mumbai openers Kaustubh Pawar (24) and Aditya Tare (47) got good starts but failed to convert them into big knocks.
Pacer Anureet Singh (2/53) struck to remove Pawar caught behind by keeper Mahesh Rawat while veteran left-arm spinner Murali Kartik (1/55) got rid of Tare.
Test hopeful Rohit Sharma (18) started off well but failed to impress the national selectors. Rohit charged Kartik twice for fours but unfortunately failed to carry on the momentum as he was run out.
A huge cheer from a small crowd greeted Tendulkar as the walked into the field. Tendulkar was comfortable and batted with confidence. He started off cautiously and waited for the 31st delivery for his first boundary.
Tendulkar was circumspect against left-arm bowler Hardik Rathod but grew in confidence as spin was introduced.
In the post-lunch session, Tendulkar was ruthless in his approach. He smashed 21 fours and three sixes during his powerful knock before being dismissed by Anureet with Parag Mohan Madkaikar taking a good catch at second slip.
Rahane on the other end adopted a workman-like approach after suffering a few anxious moments initially.
But he also grew in confidence as the innings progressed. Rahane hit 13 fours in his 207-ball knock.