Wasim Jaffer has bailed Mumbai out of precarious situations on numerous occasions. He did so again on Thursday, digging deep to anchor the Mumbai innings even as wickets fell at the other end.
Vidarbha pacer Sandeep Singh produced an incisive spell in the morning session, making the most of the lively Wankhede wicket, and only Jaffer (133 not out) stood tall in a marathon effort of 393 minutes.
With this knock, Jaffer also completed a half-century of centuries in first-class cricket. He had already overtaken Amol Muzumdar as the leading Ranji scorer and Ajay Sharma as the leading centurion in the premier domestic event last season.
The former India player has been the mainstay of Mumbai’s batting for nearly a decade and the innings he played on Thursday was another master class from him.
He was the leading run scorer for Mumbai last season with 1016 runs in 13 innings from eight matches. This was also Jaffer’s second century of the season, the first being against Punjab.
At the end of the day, he had reason to feel let down as his teammates failed to extend support.
“There were a few bad shots. The wicket wasn’t doing much after the first session so we needed to build a partnership. We would have liked to have 260 or 270 for six at stumps but we have recovered well,” said Jaffer.
At least three batsmen, including Abhishek Nayar, Aditya Tare and Suryakumar Yadav, were guilty of throwing away their wickets when the need of the hour was to slug it out in the middle.
Despite dwindling support, the 35-year-old Jaffer toiled relentlessly and completed his 34th century by tapping offie Akshay Wakhare behind square.