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    81st first-class ton draws Sachin Tendulkar level with Gavaskar

    Mumbai: With a care-free tuck off the pads off his former India team-mate Sreesanth, Sachin Tendulkar on Friday drew level with Sunil Gavaskar on an Indian record of 81 first-class centuries.

    Moments later, Tendulkar drove Sreesanth past mid-off for four to reach another landmark, that of 25,000 first-class runs. It was that kind of day for the veteran batsman.

    Tendulkar reached three figures during day three of the 2012-13 Irani Cup match in front of his home fans at the Wankhede Stadium as current Ranji Trophy winners Mumbai attempted to go past Rest of India's first-innings 526. Tendulkar's century was his second in the Irani Cup, but came after a gap of nearly 23 years. The last time he did so was when he made 103 not out against Delhi during the 1989-90 Irani Cup match as a 16-year-old at this very ground. Delhi won that match by 309 runs.

    Tendulkar's good run in domestic cricket - he scored 56 and 108 near the end of the Ranji Trophy season -bodes well for India ahead of the Test series against Australia starting February 22.