Wasim Jaffer, India’s legend in domestic cricket scored his 53rd first-class hundred to stamp Vidharbha’s complete dominance on the first day of the Irani Trophy at Nagpur. Vidharbha finished the first day at 289 for two wickets down courtesy of Jaffer’s 113 not out and skipper Faiz Fazal’s 89 runs.
On a Nagpur pitch that promises plenty of runs, Fazal won the toss and elected to bat against Rest of India. The decision proved right as Vidarbha’s openers Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy got off to a solid start and scored 101 runs for the first wicket.
The opening pair negotiated the new ball successfully and kept the young pacers Navdeep Saini and Siddarth Kaul at bay. The pair stood unscratched in the first session and ROI had to wait until the 35th over to get their first breakthrough.
In the 35th over, Jayant Yadav forced Sanjay Ramaswamy who scored 53 runs off 111 balls to offer a catch to R Samarth at midwicket. This wicket brought Jaffer to the crease and since then it was a display of highly elegant and confident batting at Napur.
40-year-old Wasim Jaffer punished ROI’s bowlers for slight error and dominated the day by scoring 16 fours and one six. He scored 117 runs for the second wicket with Fazal and laid the foundation of a massive first inning score for Vidarbha.
Fazal who completed his 1000 runs of this season today was finally out in the 69th over when his miscued slog sweep was caught by N Saini at short fine-leg against R Ashwin. Fazal scored 89 runs off 190 balls with six fours and one six.
Jaffer then ensured Vidarbha finished the day on a high note and stitched an unbeaten partnership of 71 runs for the third wicket with Ganesh Satish. Jaffer remained unbeaten on 113 runs from 166 balls while Satish is playing on 29 runs off 74 balls.
The spin trio of R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, and Shahbaz Nadeem had a disappointing day as they failed to break through Vidarbha’s batting order. Ashwin was the most impressive among the three as he picked one wicket and gave away only 66 runs in his 25 overs.