Sachin Tendulkar was into his late 30s by the time the Indian Premier League began but he did produce some brilliant knocks throughout the six seasons he played. He amassed a total of 2334 runs at an average of 34.83 including 13 fifties and a hundred.
The Master Blaster was adjudged the Man of the Match on 8 occasions and was adjudged the Player of the Tournament in IPL 2010 where he was also the highest run-scorer.
Tendulkar’s solitary century in the IPL came on this very day 7 years ago against the Kochi Tuskers Kerala.
Mumbai Indians began IPL 2011 strongly by winning their first two matches comprehensively against Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. They were now up against the then new franchise Kochi Tuskers Kerala whose journey so far was totally contrasting to theirs.
Kochi Tuskers Kerala had lost their first two matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors India. KTK had to defend on both occasions and their opponents chased down the targets in the penultimate over.
The match was held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the first match at the ground since the 2011 World Cup final.
Tendulkar and Rayudu propelled MI to 182
Kochi Tuskers Kerala won the toss and skipper Mahela Jayawardene opted to field first. Skipper Sachin Tendulkar and Davey Jacobs opened the innings for Mumbai Indians. Jacobs was struggling from the start but Tendulkar was hitting boundaries and elevating MI's run rate.
Jacobs was sent back to the dugout after being bowled by Raiphi Gomez for just 12 from 21 deliveries. Ambati Rayudu came out to join Tendulkar at the crease.
In MI's previous game against RCB, Tendulkar and Rayudu added 110 for the second wicket and they were doing the same thing against KTK. Both players were smashing fours and sixes against the Kochi bowlers and MI were looking strong at that time. Ambati Rayudu reached his fifty but got out shortly after. By the time Rayudu got out, MI were 177/3 with Tendulkar batting on 95 with two balls remaining.
In the penultimate ball, Tendulkar smashed a brilliant shot down the ground to move to 99. In the final delivery, Sachin took a single to score his first T20 century and the second century of IPL-4 and Mumbai Indians ended their innings at 182/2.
McCullum and Jayawardene gave KTK a flying start
This was the first time Kochi Tuskers Kerala had to chase a target and looking at the performance of their batsmen and the form of the MI bowlers, the possibilities of Kochi chasing down the target seemed gloomy.
However, Brendon McCullum and skipper Mahela Jayawardene began to smash the MI bowlers black and blue. Both players, especially Baz, were batting brilliantly and the MI bowlers were clueless.
The duo reached their respective fifties and put up 128 runs for the opening wicket to put KTK in the driver's seat. The partnership was broken when Jayawardene was dismissed for 56 from 36 deliveries. McCullum went on to score 81 before Lasith Malinga bowled him with the match in Kochi's bag.
Jadeja and Hodge finished the match for Kochi
Following the dismissals of the openers, Ravindra Jadeja and Brad Hodge smashed a couple of big shots to finish the match for Kochi with an over to spare. Kochi registered their first win of the tournament and it was against the mighty Mumbai Indians who suffered their first defeat of the competition.
Brendon McCullum was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 81 and Sachin Tendulkar's valiant 100, his only IPL century, went in vain.