Irani Cup 2018, Day 1, Review: Wasim Jaffer's ton puts Vidarbha in firm command
Wasim Jaffer scored his 53rd First Class century.
The defending Ranji Trophy 2017-18 champions Vidarbha were all geared up for the Irani Trophy 2018. The traditional tournament sees the Ranji Trophy champions compete against the Rest of India every domestic season. The ROI team often boasts of the best performers from the country who take on the defending Ranji champions.
This year, the stage was all set at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur for the ultimate show down. Vidarbha created history this season by winning their maiden Ranji Trophy title. And now, they have certainly managed to dictate terms on the first day of the Irani Trophy fixture. Coming to the game, it was Vidarbha’s skipper Faiz Fazal who won the toss and opted to bat first.
In walked Vidarbha’s openers, Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy, to start the proceedings as Navdeep Saini and Siddarth Kaul shared the new ball for ROI. The new ball bowlers found very little help from the track that looked like an absolute belter. ROI skipper Karun Nair was soon prompted to move to the experienced spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Shahbaz Nadeem.
Nothing seemed to work for the ROI bowlers as the openers nurdled around to dominate the first session. The first wicket eventually perished in the early overs of the second session with Sanjay Ramaswamy being dismissed by off-spinner Jayant Yadav on 53 (111).
In walked the veteran campaigner Wasim Jaffer to join skipper Fazal, who had reached his fifty in the meantime. Fazal and Jaffer showed some serious resistance and kept the scorecard ticking. While Fazal played the cautious game, Jaffer was the one who looked aggressive in his approach on the day. The two senior batsmen added 117 runs for the second wicket before R Ashwin managed to dismiss Fazal on 89.
The stern resistance of 89 runs came off 190 deliveries with a six and 6 boundaries. Ganesh Satish joined Jaffer at the crease and Vidarbha continued to dominate the proceedings riding on the latter’s masterclass. Wasim Jaffer soon reached his century number 53 in First Class cricket and is still looking good for more. Unbelievable numbers those are indeed.
By the end of the first day, Vidarbha finished with 289/2 on the board. Jaffer remained unbeaten on 113 off 166 deliveries laced with 16 beautifully carved boundaries and a maximum. Ganesh Satish finished the day with an unbeaten 29 to his name. It was hardwork for the ROI bowlers with Ashwin finishing with 1/66 on the day in the 25 overs that he bowled.
Vidarbha 289/2 (Wasim Jaffer 113*, Faiz Fazal 89, Ashwin 1/66, Jayant Yadav 1/73)