What’s more, this gentleman has taken on the responsibility gracefully and delivered with an elegance that most batsmen in the world over would
envy. Wasim Jaffer was at his best yesterday when Mumbai were left searching for answers in the morning session against a buoyant Vidarbha outfit at the Wankhede Stadium in a Ranji Trophy league encounter.
Not only did the opener, who notched up his 50th first-class ton, stem the slide, he was still undefeated at the end of the day on 133 as Mumbai found themselves in a reasonably fighting position at 254-8. He struck 13 boundaries and a six during his 261-ball stay and the hosts will be hoping he comes out all guns blazing today in order to take the score past 300.
“I am happy to have reached this milestone,” he said of his 50th ton, before adding: “There was a job to be done and someone needed to stand in the middle and ensure we reached a decent total. I am happy I did that.” The visitors read the pitch correctly and did not hesitate in asking Mumbai to bat first. They went to lunch at 89-3, hoping to get the Mumbai tail in as early as possible, only to be thwarted by Jaffer.
“The ball was swinging in the morning and we just needed to play out the session. After that we could go about scoring the runs,” said Jaffer. Nevertheless, he was disappointed at the Mumbai batsmen not being able to put on a big partnership. “We are in a reasonable position now, but ideally I would not have liked to find ourselves losing about six wickets today.”
The player who suffered most at Jaffer’s hand was the SA-bound paceman Umesh Yadav, but Jaffer maintained he had not targeted him, referring to the 61st over in which he hit three boundaries. “There was nothing as such. I felt the balls were there to be hit, so I hit them,” he said.