Irani Cup: Jaffer misses triple ton, Vidarbha crosses 700

On a day shortened to 28 overs due to rain and bad light, Wasim Jaffer was dismissed for 286 even even as Vidarbha continued to pile on the runs.

Vidarbha’s Apoorv Wankhede plays an unorthodox stroke during his innings of 99* on Day Three of the Irani Cup.   -  PTI

On a day shortened to 28 overs due to rain and bad light, a triple-century was missed, and a batsman was left stranded on 99. Those were the highlights of the third day’s play of the Irani Cup tie between Vidarbha and Rest of India, a contest that is likely headed for the sixth day.

With the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium preparing perhaps the flattest pitch of the domestic season, the lone talking point ahead of the start of Friday's play was whether Wasim Jaffer, the 40-year-old veteran batsman, would become the oldest Indian cricketer to record a first-class triple-hundred. But with the heavens having opened up since Thursday night, it was all but evident that Jaffer’s quest for the 15 runs he required would be prolonged.

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With the morning session having been washed out owing to a persistent drizzle and the mopping work, Jaffer and his partner Apoorv Wankhede entered the field at 12.40pm under overcast conditions. Jaffer punched the first ball of the day to deep point for a single. However, the light dropped during the remaining five balls and umpires Anil Chaudhary and Nandan took the players back to the change rooms after Siddharth Kaul's first over.

Play was suspended for most of the day at the VCA Stadium due to rain and bad light. Photo: PTI

 

The light improved in little time and the players were back on the field after a 12-minute break. Wankhede, having fetched a single off Kaul’s last ball, played out a maiden with Navdeep Saini at full throttle in conditions suitable for pace bowling.

Standing ovasion

But it was Kaul who finally was rewarded for his consistency with the third ball of his next over. Jaffer missed a fuller-length ball that came in and crashed into the off-stump to end the marathon innings. Despite missing out on what would have been a marvellous triple-century, Jaffer’s 286 (431b, 617m, 34x4, 1x6) received a standing ovation from everyone present at the stadium.

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Wankhede, the only Vidarbha player besides India regular Umesh Yadav to have been picked in the IPL auction, showed his hitting prowess by tonking Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant Yadav at will. R. Ashwin took it easy and didn’t bowl but the other two spinners bore the brunt, with Wankhede revelling in the company of Akshay Wadkar, the wicket-keeper whose century sealed the Ranji final against Delhi in January.

The umpires were forced to take tea early due to fading light. Upon resumption, Wadkar nicked Shahbaz Nadeem to K. S. Bharat for a sharp catch behind the wickets in the second over. At the end of the over, the umpires again took the players back.

Wankhede, who was unbeaten on 90 at tea, charged down the wicket to Jayant Yadav immediately upon recommencement for a huge six and a single took him to 99 when bad light put an end to the day’s play.

Brief scores
  • Vidarbha 702 for 5 (Jaffer 286, Satish 120, Wankhede 99*, Fazal 89, Sanjay 53; Kaul 2 for 91, Ashwin 1 for 123, Nadeem 1 for 159, Yadav 1 for 202) vs Rest of India