Jaffer scores ton as dad fights for life
Wasim Jaffer was clearly high on emotion yesterday. After taking a courageous decision to play the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Baroda despite his father battling for life in a Bandra hospital, Jaffer scored his second consecutive ton to equal Delhi's Ajay Sharma 31 centuries a record for most number of tons in the tournament
Jaffer is now just 44 short of reclaiming his record of the most runs in Ranji Trophy from domestic stalwart and former teammate Amol Muzumdar, who now plays for Andhra.
Normally, everything else would be secondary when Sachin Tendulkar scores a century. But it wasn’t the case yesterday. Jaffer garnered equal attention and applause from the Wankhede crowd for his unbeaten 137 in testing times.
Jaffer and Tendulkar protected the ship from sinking after Mumbai began on a disastrous note, losing two quick wickets — Kaustubh Pawar (8) and Hiken Shah (9) — with only 35 on the board. The duo added 234 for the third wicket as Mumbai finished Day One on 272 for three against Baroda . Tendulkar was playing his 300th first-class match.
Jaffer admitted the difficulty in staying focused. “At the back of your mind, the personal aspect always hangs around, but that is life and you have to move on.
While I am here, I try to keep cricket on my mind and once you switch off, you think about family. My father is still unconscious. He is still critical,” said the ex-India Test opener.
Jaffer matched Tendulkar stroke for stroke and at times looked more at ease than the record-breaking legend in the middle. Baroda had a golden opportunity to halt run-machine Jaffer four runs short of his hundred, but skipper Yusuf Pathan fumbled big-time at first slip. He brought up his record-equalling ton with a glorious cover drive off Gagandeep Singh.
Jaffer said: “My father would have loved to see me score a hundred. He is 77. It is unfortunate. I hope he returns to consciousness and everything is ok.”