Sachin Tendulkar found his form ahead of the forthcoming Test series against England with brilliant 136-ball 137 for Mumbai on day one of their Ranji Trophy match with Railways at the Wankhede Stadium here Friday.
Tendulkar, whose last Ranji appearance was in 2009 and another Test hopeful Ajinkya Rahane (105 batting) with their 200-run stand for the fourth wicket took Mumbai to 344 for four in their first innings at stumps.
The 39-year-old, the world´s leading run-scorer in both Test and one-day cricket, cracked three sixes and 21 fours in his 136-ball knock.
It was Tendulkar´s 295th three-figure score in first-class cricket and it will stand in good stead in the series against England. Tendulkar has failed to score a century since making 146 against South Africa in Cape Town in January 2011.
Tendulkar and Rahane 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.
Tendulkar started cautiously but became ruthless as the innings progressed. 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.