Record-breaking Jaffer helps Vidarbha stay on top

A day of complete batting dominance helped Vidarbha pin Rest of India on the mat on the second day of the Irani Cup clash in Nagpur on Thursday (March 15). Wasim Jaffer (285 not out) and Ganesh Satish (120) scored 289 for the second wicket as Vidarbha stretched their score to 598 for 3 at stumps.
With a poor, placid track laid out by the hosts for the marquee clash, there wasn’t much the RoI bowlers could have done apart from toil and keep things tight. Having worked hard on the first day, they came out with intent and kept things tight in the first half hour of the day. However, that was the only period they were able to trouble Satish or Jaffer.
The first nine overs of the day yielded just eight runs before Jaffer collected nine off the tenth to break the shackles. With their eye in, and with nothing off the track, the Vidarbha duo consolidated and then helped their side surge ahead in the contest.
Satish brought up the first landmark of the day as he cantered to a half-century in the 106th over of the innings. Seven overs later, Jaffer went on to cross the 150-run mark as bowlers continued to struggle. As expected, it was R Ashwin who put the batsmen under pressure but with luck not favouring him, he wasn’t able to create the breakthrough.
Satish particularly found it tough to deal with Ashwin’s flight and variations as played some streaky strokes to give the RoI players some hope. Inside edges flew past the stumps or outside edges managed to avoid the slip fielder as the ace offspinner too couldn’t contain his frustration. Ashwin tried his legspinners too but both Jaffer and Satish looked a lot at ease against that variation.
Vidarbha went to lunch at 407 for 2 and then ended the second session at 504 for 2. In between all the action, Jaffer scored his eighth first-class double ton 137th over. He also went past the 18,000-run mark in first-class cricket and became only the sixth Indian player to do so. With the guiding hand around him, Satish rallied behind the veteran but also managed to hold his own.
His century came in the 140th over as they took the team past 500. Satish fell early in the third session fending at a length delivery that bounced just a tad enough to surprise him. All he could manage was a thick edge off Siddarth Kaul to the ‘keeper as the mammoth third-wicket stand came to an end.
When Jaffer brought up his 250, he also became the oldest Asian player to achieve that feat. He also registered the highest score in Irani Cup as he went past M Vijay’s 266 scored in 2012 against Rajasthan.