Wasim Jaffer defied age and modern fitness norms to flay a young Rest of India attack throughout the second day of Irani Cup as Vidarbha reached a mammoth 589/3, riding on Mumbai maestro's unbeaten 285. At 40, with no worries of clearing 'Yo-Yo' tests, Jaffer batted with composure, bleeding a young bowling attack with thousand cuts, en route his unbeaten knock on a shirtfront of a track at the VCA Stadium.
The domestic heavyweight wasn't troubled one bit by an attack that had current India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (1/123 in 43 overs) and the discarded Jayant Yadav (1/149 in 38 overs) in their ranks. Both of them also had 'centuries' in their names which they would like to forget quickly.
Wasim Jaffer is an inspiration. At 40, has scored a brilliant double hundred against a Rest of India attack also compromising Ashwin.— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) March 15, 2018
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
He started the day on 113 and added 172 runs more to become the highest individual scorer in the Irani Cup, surpassing Murali Vijay's 266 during the 2012-13 season. Jaffer's innings had 34 boundaries and a six. He has faced 425 balls so far. During his knock, Jaffer not only touched the elusive 18000-run mark but also overtook the first-class tallies of batting legends such as Dilip Vengsarkar (17868) and GR Viswanath (17970). He is now sixth on the list for India’s all-time leading first-class scorers.
Well done Wasim Jaffer ..old man still super @bcci— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) March 15, 2018
The Mumbai-born batsman also becomes the fifth Indian first-class cricketer to score a double ton after the age of 40. When he scored 250, he became the first Asian cricket to score 250-plus score after the age of 40.
It was a lovely sight when young Prithvi Shaw, who now opens for Mumbai, was seen clapping after Jaffer reached his eighth career double hundred. Eighteen seasons back when Jaffer had made his debut for India, Prithvi was only three months old.
Congratulations Wasim Jaffer 200 not out and 18000 first class runs and still going strong.. he should have played for bit longer for Team India 🇮🇳 #perfectplayer #Topplayer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Vidrabha vs rest of india #iranitrophy @BCCIdomestic @BCCI— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 15, 2018
Along with Ganesh Sathish (120, 280 balls), Jaffer added 289 runs for the third wicket and then another 91 runs with Apoorv Wankhade (44 batting).
It is expected that Vidarbha will allow Jaffer to complete his triple hundred before declaring their innings..
When in flow, Jaffer is a delightful batsman to watch and it was no exception as he compiled runs with silken grace. The supple wrists time and again came into use, as any delivery from pacers, which drifted on the pads, was whipped to the mid-wicket fence.
The half-volleys outside the off-stump were driven through the covers and any width provided outside the off-stump was cut imperiously.
Ashwin once again bowled leg breaks without much success. In fact, Jaffer faced 83 balls from Ashwin and picked up as many as 54 runs.
It was once again evident that Ashwin, without any help from the pitch, isn't as effective as on a square turner.
When he bowled short outside the off-stump, Jaffer rocked back and cut him past backward point. Before that, Ashwin tried a fuller delivery on pads and he was flicked to square leg boundary.
The Indian selectors had come to watch the young national team hopefuls in action but would go back with memories of a veteran touch artist, providing soulful entertainment in an empty stadium.
He reached 250 by clipping Siddarth Kaul to the mid-wicket fence. The reverse sweep off Jayant followed by a cover drive got him past Vijay as the highest scorer in an Irani Cup game.
Vidarbha 598/3 in 180 overs (Wasim Jaffer 285 batting, Ganesh Sathish 120, Faiz Fazal 89, Sanjay Ramaswamy 53, R Ashwin 1/123, Jayant Yadav 1/149, Siddarth Kaul 1/80 in 30 overs) vs Rest of India.
(With PTI Inputs)