Sachin Tendulkar has 100 international centuries to his name, but the first one he scored remains special to date, 30 years after the then 17-year-old stood tall to save a Test match in England. On August 14, 1990, the Indian scored an unbeaten 119 off 189 balls on a fifth-day track to save the game for India against England.
Also read — Sachin Tendulkar: One man, one hundred centuries
Much like a large part of his storied career, the script for his first international hundred was also written to be poetic.
England had won the first Test by 247 runs, better known for Graham Gooch scoring 333. Tendulkar had made only 10 and 27 in his two innings.
In the second Test as well, batting first England posted a sizeable score of 519 with Gooch, Michael Atherton and Robin Smith scoring hundreds. In reply, India scored a steady 432 with captain Mohammad Azharuddin scoring 179, Sanjay Manjrekar making 93 and Tendulkar getting 68.
England put a solid score in the second innings as well and India were chasing a mammoth 408 to win. Half the team was back in the pavilion at 127/5 and the visitors were staring at another defeat. But for the teenager who would go on to become the most prolific batsmen in the game.
Tendulkar batted for 225 minutes with Manoj Prabhakar for company (67 not out off 128) and managed to save the Test match as India drew the match with the score at 343/6. In the process, he became the second-youngest man to score a Test hundred and remains third in the charts today.
It was the first of many, many times that the Mumbai batsman rescued the Indian batting and scored reached three-figures in an international match. It was the first of a 100, a mark no one breached as yet.
Watch the highlights of the innings here:
Here’s Tendulkar talking about the innings: