Mumbai v Baroda, Ranji Trophy Quarter-final, 1st day January 6, 2013

Jaffer, Tendulkar centuries crush Baroda


Mumbai 272 for 3 (Jaffer 137*, Tendulkar 108) v Baroda

The last time Sachin Tendulkar played first-class cricket in Mumbai, his team fell to arguably its worst defeat in Test cricket. The last time Wasim Jaffer played in Mumbai, he scored a hundred to get his side three points but had to leave midway to tend to his father who had suffered a heart attack. On Sunday in Mumbai, albeit against a limited Baroda attack, normal services resumed as the two scored centuries to take Mumbai to a position of strength in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final.

This was Jaffer's 31st Ranji century, which takes him level with Ajay Sharma as the highest centurions in Ranji Trophy. Jaffer is now just 44 short of reclaiming his record of most runs in Ranji Trophy, which he lost to Andhra's Amol Muzumdar in the first half of the tournament. Tendulkar, too, took a step towards records. This was his 80th first-class hundred, just one behind Sunil Gavaskar's Indian record of 81. Also, with 18 centuries in this competition, he is two behind Gavaskar's 20.

The two came together with Mumbai 35 for 2 after choosing to bat first. Jaffer had already survived an lbw decision when South African umpire Adrian Holdstock - part of umpires exchange programme - reprieved him off an inswinger from left-arm quick Gagandeep Singh. Tendulkar squashed all nerves by batting with intent, and racing away to 23 off 32 without taking any risks. A straight drive between the stumps and the non-striker stood out.

Tendulkar now settled in for a big innings, and Jaffer began to look comfortable. It was a slow pitch, and scoring was not easy, which showed in how Tendulkar once ended up dragging a lofted shot to cow corner while he intended to hit it straight down the ground. He stopped taking risks then. Jaffer, who cut one wide of Yusuf Pathan at first slip just after lunch, began to score more freely with some beautiful flicks through wide mid-on and midwicket. The two were complimenting each other again.

No wicket fell in the middle session as Mumbai went from 77 for 2 at lunch to 193 for 2 at tea. Tendulkar's strike rate had dropped to around 50, but Jaffer's had risen to about a run every two balls. Jaffer began the final session not out on 92, and soon made his only mistake of the day after an uncertain start. As he edged a cut off Gagandeep to slip, Baroda's captain, Yusuf, couldn't hold on to a fairly simple chance. Jaffer then went on to bring up his century with an exquisite cover-drive off the same bowler.

Tendulkar wasn't far behind, and brought his three figures up with a nudge fine of long leg and scampering for two. A spectator, a middle-aged man, charged onto the field, and embarrassed Tendulkar by insisting to touch his feet in reverence. You could see Tendulkar wasn't comfortable with the notion, but it seemed he had no choice.

Murtuja Vahora, Baroda's spirited right-arm fast bowler, finally broke through Tendulkar's defence with a beauty that swung prodigiously in to sneak through the small gap between bat and pad even as Tendulkar strode forward. The off stump went cartwheeling, and Vahora was overjoyed. Jaffer, though, had become even more fluent, ending unbeaten on 137. Nightwatchman Dhawal Kulkarni did his job with an unbeaten 0 off 15 balls.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaushik on January 7, 2013, 15:39 GMT

    Wasim Jaffer is no older than Sehwag, and just a couple of years older than Gambhir. And he is a better opener than either of them is today. Jaffer was dropped after 3 poor Tests 5 years ago, and never given a chance again - his peak years as a batsman were spent piling on the runs for Mumbai. Gambhir has failed for 3 *years* running now, and is still persisted with. As Ganguly said a year ago, Jaffer is one of the three best openers in India for sure today, and should have been on the plane to Australia. He certainly deserves to be in the Indian Test side again. He's a better bet to take on the Aussie new ball attack than Gambhir is in his current form; and he is young enough to serve India well on tours to SA, NZ and Eng in 2013-14. I hope this selection committee finally gives this fine batsman his due.

  • Subhash on January 7, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    Sachin please come back to blue colors, India needs you badly !! If you can play ranji then you can definitely play ODI for India !!! Please re-consider the decision made by you last month !! Critics or people who always wants your retirement are people who didnt do anything for their country nor known for anything. They aim is to destroy a good persons career, so just dont bother about critics !!! Just give them a blow by your bat !! And dont bother about X-Cricketers commenting about your future. They are just jealous of your records and caliber !! Keep playing max, we will cheer you always.... Sachinnnnnnnnnnn Sachinnnnnnnnnnn !!! Sachinnnnnnnnnnn Sachinnnnnnnnnnn !!!!

  • Deepak on January 7, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    @Venkatram Gopalakrishna - Are you kidding me? In the first place, Mumbai don't have Rahane and Rohit in their team right now and their middle-order looks too weak. Secondly, it's not as if Sachin is playing for personal milestones here. He wants to be in perfect shape ahead of the Australia Test series.

    "Destroying a youngster by denying him a chance" Do you know there are 27 Ranji teams? You can only imagine how many vacant slots are there in so many teams for ONE deserving young cricketer.

  • Sarwer on January 7, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    select Wasim Jaffer, VVS Laxman for Australia series. When Sachin can play at the age of 39 why can't others

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Sachin is simply destroying a youngster by denying him a chance in the Ranji matches. We have seen him getting out in the last five series or so. Please retire from all form of cricket as Mr Cricket (Hussey) did. You are losing all the reputation earned during the past two and half decades.

  • Anadi on January 7, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Some facts:

    #SR Tend looked miserable. Strike Rate was poor.

    #Again yeah you read it right Again he was Bowled.

    #Looked slow to get off his stance

    And yes I agree with little edition - He could be Brian Lara of Indian Cricket had he not selfishly played for Century of centuries record through his career.

  • Sathish on January 7, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    Does anyone know why Sandeep Sharma not in Playing XI for Punjab?

  • Daljit on January 7, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    As an Indian Fan, I personally believe that Tendulkar shoulve left the game after winning the world cup. Even though he continues making these hundreds, in the international competition his reputation is gradually declining.

  • Dummy4 on January 6, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    maddy20: i agree with you on both points! Rameez Shaikh: you are really lucky to have watched centuries by Jaffer and Tendulkar! Ashish Rana: what did you mean by saying that Sachin 'is the brian lara of cricket'? The only sport that Lara is famous in is cricket, and Sachin's achievements have excelled Lara's. You could have said that Sachin is the Michael Schumacher of cricket Vishwanathan Anand of cricket Zakir Hussain of cricket Michael Phelps of cricket Amitabh Bachchan of cricket Royal Enfield of cricket Field Marshal of cricket A. R. Rahman of cricket Mercedes Benz of cricket Mahatma of cricket 'Sholay' of cricket Lionel Messi of cricket Parliamentarian of cricket Zafraan of cricket Shahenshah of cricket Taj Mahal of cricket or even the Brain of cricket. People here call him God, many worship him, so compare him only with the very greatest.