Mumbai v Vidarbha, Ranji Trophy, Mumbai, 1st day November 28, 2013

Jaffer's 50th ton holds Mumbai together


Mumbai 254 for 8 (Jaffer 133*) v Vidarbha

Wasim Jaffer's landmark 50th first-class hundred rescued Mumbai on the first day of their maiden Ranji Trophy clash against Vidarbha at the Wankhede Stadium. Riding on Jaffer's unbeaten 133, Mumbai ended the opening day of the Group A league clash at 254 for 8.

With the Vidarbha pace troika of Sandeep Singh, Umesh Yadav and Shrikant Wagh extracting considerable movement off the Wankhede pitch, Jaffer, who opened the innings with Kaustubh Pawar, was cautious in the morning session. Once he had his eye in, he targeted the Vidarbha bowlers at the start of each of the next two sessions.

In the third over after lunch, he charged down the track to hit offspinner Akshay Wakhare straight over his head and towards the sightscreen for the only six of the day. That forced the Vidarbha bowlers to focus on giving Jaffer a single and try and attack batsmen at the other end. Even after tea, Jaffer hit three boundaries off Umesh - a trademark flick off his wrist through midwicket, a pull behind square leg and a glide though slip cordon to the third man rope - in the third over after tea to enter the nineties.

He reached the landmark with a tap behind square off Wakhare and raised his bat in elation. He then shielded No. 10 batsman Vishal Dabholkar for most of the last hour despite suffering from cramps.

While Jaffer gave an example of how to pace the innings, his young team-mates squandered an opportunity to help Mumbai put on a big total. Pawar slashed Singh straight to Wakhare at point in the third over, while Ajinkya Rahane, returning to Ranji after missing their last two games due to the Tests against West Indies, edged one from Singh that moved away from him to Hemang Badani at first slip soon after.

Singh, whose first spell that read 5-3-6-2, then changed ends and removed Siddhesh Lad, who had come into the game on the back of successive fifties against Delhi in Mumbai's previous match. Lad tried to drive Singh on the up, only to edge it to Faiz Fazal at second slip. Abhishek Nayar then avoided further damage before lunch.

However, soon after lunch, Nayar tried a slog sweep off Wakhare, missed the ball and it crashed into the stumps. Aditya Tare, who scored a second-innings century while opening the innings against Delhi, also attempted a sweep off Wakhare to be trapped in front. Suryakumar Yadav, the last of the recognised batsmen, then threw his wicket away as he drove left-arm spinner Ravi Jangid straight into Umesh's palms at mid-off.

At 161 for 6, Vidarbha had an opportunity to gain the upper hand. However, Shardul Thakur then added 58 runs with Jaffer for the seventh wicket before being splendidly caught at short extra cover by substitute Urvesh Patel off Jangid.

Once Zaheer Khan played Jangid on to his stumps soon after, Jaffer farmed the strike for most of the last hour. Still, he took a full toll on the Vidarbha bowlers, especially Umesh, who didn't have the best of the days with the ball. Two of Jaffer's nine boundaries off Umesh were sweetly timed pull shots towards the fag end of the day, when Vidarbha opted to take the new ball after the 86th over.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on November 29, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    If a 40 year Tendulkar who had been playing like a tailender for last 2 years can be guaranteed a position in the Indian team, why not give a chance to Waseem Jaffer? He has been a prolific scorer in Ranji Trophy for last few years. Jaffer can certainly do better than Murli Vijay who is clueless against quality pace bowling. Jaffer is also much better than the completely out of form Sehwag.

  • Dummy4 on November 29, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    Jaffer was unlucky to fall time and again to the quicks in Australia. If he had some good scores then he would have cemented his place in the side. Sometimes u r just unlucky. Its fate. Kismat mey jo likha hai, kaun badal sakhey.

  • Shiv on November 28, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Some people are only fit for domestics, Jaffer is one of them, he is just not intl material. He had plenty of chances when he was young but just blew they away time and again.

  • Shiv on November 28, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    Gavaskar too scored a century in his last outing, lets call him back. Shame on selectors for ignoring a legend like Gavaskar all the time. Pls for godsake bring him back, we need him badly.

  • Android on November 28, 2013, 18:17 GMT

    still don't understand why this man isn't selected.... he is, in that list of highest first class centuries, with India's greatest batsmen, likes of sachin and sunil..... really sad he is not picked.. scores consistently. .. really wanted him in the team. especially after sachin's retirement he would have been a gr8 choice for adding experience to the indian batting lineup on tough South African pitches ........

  • Sriman on November 28, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Jaffer is a class act.. But unfortunately, he wasn't able to make use of the opportunities @ international level.. He played 31 tests for India @ a below par avg of 34 !! And it was an era when Gambhir and Sehwag were @ their peak !! He is now 36, and it would be hard for the selectors to consider him now.. I feel Rahane should be given more opportunities @ test level, maybe ahead of Vijay !!

  • Android on November 28, 2013, 17:42 GMT

    Jaffer over Vijay in tests?your take?

  • Android on November 28, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    He was dropped due to inconsistency and some poor scores in overseas conditions. Australia tour of 2008 comes to mind where he was dropped for the third Test I think.

  • tushar on November 28, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    hats of to you sir, you are a great test betsman but i cant understand why selectors are ignoring you.....

  • Puneet on November 28, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    And yet he is being ignored by the selectors. Knock Knock....Any selectors here ?? We have a batsman.

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