There was a special spectator from the Jaffer family yesterday at the Wankhede Stadium. Kalim Jaffer, the elder brother of Mumbai opener Wasim rushed to the Churchgate venue when word spread that the ex-India opener looked set for another big score. Kalim was at the nearby Cross Maidan yesterday watching his son Arman’s inter-school Harris Shield semi-final.
Though Wasim would have been disappointed with his soft dismissal 20 runs short of a hundred yesterday, Kalim spoke highly of his brother’s emotional and courageous decision to play the Irani Cup after losing his father only a few days ago.
‘Not an easy decision’
“It certainly was not an easy decision for Wasim to play this match. He is playing with a heavy heart. And what a knock he has played,” Kalim, who was seated in one corner of the MCA Pavilion, told MiD DAY yesterday.
Wasim’s nephew Arman too was following his uncle’s progress, over the phone with his father. Yesterday, Wasim seemed to merely continue from where he had left — a crucial 132-run knock against Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy final at the same venue a few weeks ago. With it, he also reclaimed the record for Ranji Trophy’s highest run-getter and most centuries (32) scored. The elegant batsman began Mumbai’s chase with some mesmerising cover drives and flicks. He seemed to make the most of RoI pacer Sreesanth’s struggling rhythm. He also lifted India spinner Pragyan Ojha for a stylish six over long-on.
Wasim along with Ajinkya Rahane (55 not out) built a solid platform after losing opener Aditya Tare (6) early. However, just when the hosts looked to finish the day on a high, Wasim departed for 80. Looking to leave a delivery outside the off stump, Wasim perhaps made a late decision and edged it to wicketkeeper Ambati Rayudu. Sreesanth, in his comeback spell, had something to rejoice about.