Nagpur, March 14: Vidarbha started their quest for a second title of the season on a sound note on the first day of the Irani Cup against the Rest of India here on Wednesday (March 14).
Veteran Wasim Jaffer led their run hunt with an impeccably crafted 53rd first-class hundred (113 batting, 165b, 16x4, 1x6) as current Ranji champions Vidarbha, who opted to bat, ended the first day on a strong 289 for two in 90 overs.
There was enough support for him too as openers skipper Faiz Fazal (89, 190b, 6x4, 1x6) and Sanjay Ramaswamy (53, 111b, 6x4, 1x6) blunted the RoI bowling during their opening wicket alliance worth 101.
An equally solid second wicket stand of 117 off 34 overs ensued between Fazal and Jaffer as Vidarbha consolidated their position.
The dismissal of Fazal, engineered by R Ashwin who replaced injured Ravindra Jadeja in the squad, did not bring any respite for RoI under Karun Nair. Jaffer and Ganesh Satish added 71 runs for the unfinished third wicket partnership as Vidarbha reached a command position.
Jaffer, the common thread of second and third wicket associations, was playing his first match after the epochal Ranji Trophy final against Delhi some two months back. Jaffer had made that occasion memorable from personal angle too notching up the winning runs.
Really good to see Wasim Jaffer score another 💯 with so much ease. Its also great to see him so committed even at this stage of his career. #inspiration— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 14, 2018
On this day, he started right from where he stopped and went on to add a hundred against his name. Of course, the pitch was not any testing kind but against a quality attack containing Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Siddharth Kaul, Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant Yadav, he needed to be cautious.
Ashwin offered some tough moments especially he bring on his endless bag of variations including his recently added leg-spin but nothing deterred Jaffer.
SPECIAL: Introducing @ashwinravi99, the leg spinner!— BCCI (@BCCI) March 14, 2018
We have seen him bamboozle the best batsmen with his off breaks, but the ace spinner has added another dimension to his bowling and that is leg spin. Here’s the latest from R Ashwin’s bag of tricks https://t.co/8M9XvWgZZ3 pic.twitter.com/mctkWQCUTB
The Mumbaikar blended watchfulness with his inborn elegance as bowlers struggled to make an impact. The RoI camp will be worried with the form Jaffer is in as the right-hander has the habit of stacking up 'daddy hundreds' and would like to see his back at the earliest on the second day.