It was Wasim Jaffer's day at the Municipal Stadium, Rajkot on Thursday. Day three of the West Zone-Central Zone Duleep Trophy clash saw the Mumbai opener accomplish the rare feat of scoring centuries in both innings. The 103 not out that he made in the West Zone second innings saw his team assume complete command. With just a day's play remaining, West Zone now have a massive lead of 388, including a first-innings lead of 175.
In the morning, Central who started on 154 for four were devastated by a pace and spin barrage from the West. Wickets fell line ninepins as Central lost their last six batsmen for just 81. Only Jai P Yadav, who has had a fine Ranji season with the Railways, was able to offer any resistance. He reached 61 before running out of partners. For West, Irfan Pathan Juniour claimed 4-74 while spinners, Rajesh Powar and Sairaj Bahutule claimed three wickets each.
When West began their second innings, Jaffer was in fine form yet again. He and his opening partner Connor Williams (39) put on 72 for the first wicket before Williams fell. Captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar, who was out for a duck in the first innings, looked good while making 40. But towards the end of the day, he was snared by veteran leg-spinner Narender Hirawani. Jaffer, however, went on to raise his hundred on a day which also saw him complete 1,000 Duleep Trophy runs in his 11th match. Altaf Merchant (15*) was keeping him company when stumps were drawn.
West who have already secured the first innings lead will now be looking to seal an outright win and claim the maximum of eight points there for the taking.