Irani Cup: Jaffer, Satish continue Vidarbha’s run feast

Wasim Jaffer notched up his eighth first-class double century as Vidarbha compounded the misery of Rest of India bowlers on Day Two.

Wasim Jaffer (left) and Ganesh Satish put on 289 runs for the third wicket.   -  Vivek Bendre

If Day One of the Irani Cup saw Wasim Jaffer citing an example of how to make the most of a flat deck, Day Two had him setting an example of how to convert a hundred into a record-breaking innings. Jaffer’s unbeaten 285, aided by Ganesh Satish's steady hundred, meant Vidarbha compounded the misery of the Rest of India bowlers, ending the day on 598 for three.

Such was Jaffer’s assurance and Satish’s finesse that the last first-class fixture of the season would end with more discussion about the quality of batting than the 22-yard strip, perhaps the flattest pitch of the season.

Jaffer, the 40-year-old, continued his masterclass even on the second day. He started the day on 113 but with Rest of India opting for the second new-ball straightaway in overcast conditions, Jaffer and Satish played out six maiden overs upfront, with RoI pacers Navdeep Saini and Siddharth Kaul bowling a nagging line.

Once birthday boy Satish got a thickish edge off Kaul that flew through the empty gully region in the ninth over, he started scoring freely. Jaffer, however, continued to take his time as he faced 36 dot balls before pushing left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem for a single. Having seen the new ball off, the duo then cut loose for the next few overs, with Nadeem facing the brunt from both the batsmen.

Floodgates opened

The 14th over of the morning started with Satish clearing the long-off boundary off Nadeem and ended with an off-drive in the same area. In between, Jaffer displayed his innovation by reverse-sweeping the bowler for a four.

In the next over, Jaffer flicked Saini twice through the on-side. Once the floodgates had opened, none of the RoI bowlers could stem the flow. Even R. Ashwin, India's premier spinner in Test matches, couldn't really contain the duo. Ashwin continued to experiment with his skill-sets, bowling two spells of leg-break during the day's play. He did manage to get a top-edge off Jaffer but it ballooned wide of the bowler.

The post-lunch session saw Jaffer and Satish being involved in a race to double-hundred and hundred, respectively. Jaffer got to the landmark first, with a quick single off Nadeem to mid-off to raise his eighth first-class double, and first in nine years. Three overs hence, Satish raised his bat for a deserving hundred with an on-drive off off-spinner Jayant Yadav.

The marathon 289-run partnership was finally over when Satish edged to K. S. Bharat behind the stumps early on in the evening session. Kaul was thus rewarded for his persistence. But Jaffer continued to plunder the records in the company of Apoorv Wankhede.

 Brief scores

Vidarbha 598 for 3 (Jaffer 285*, Ganesh 120, Fazal 89, Sanjay 53; Kaul 1 for 80, Ashwin 1 for 123, Yadav 1 for 149) vs Rest of India