Wasim Jaffer’s 53rd first-class hundred, and his first of the season, was the highlight of day one of the Irani Cup match in Nagpur, where Vidarbha laid a rock-solid platform after choosing to bat first. They were 289 for 2 at stumps, with Jaffer batting on 113.
The 40-year-old Jaffer batted with more fluency than anyone else in the Vidarbha top order, scoring his runs at a strike rate of 68.07 and hitting 16 fours and a six over long-on off Jayant Yadav. The rest of the batsmen scored 171 between them, at a strike rate of 45.60.
Rest of India boasted a strong five-man attack, with two in-form quicks in Navdeep Saini and Siddarth Kaul and three spinners in R Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem and Jayant. But they struggled to break their way through Vidarbha’s top order.
Openers Faiz Fazal and Sanjay Ramaswamy added 101 before the latter chipped Jayant to short midwicket to fall for 53 in the 35th over of the innings. Then Fazal added 117 with Jaffer for the second wicket, and fell for 89 (190b, 6×4, 1×6) while trying to sweep Ashwin, having just brought up the 1000-run milestone for the domestic season.
That was to be the last wicket of the day for Rest of India, as Jaffer and Ganesh Satish (29*) saw out the rest of the day, adding an unbroken 71 for the third wicket in 21.5 overs. Ashwin got through the most work among the Rest of India bowlers, ending the day with figures of 1 for 66 in 25 overs. Jayant was expensive, conceding 73 in his 18 overs.