Ranji Trophy: Jaffer battles Ishant and Co, Vidarbha keep Delhi down
After the first day’s play in their Ranji Trophy game, senior Vidarbha batsman Wasim Jaffer was asked about his fondness for the Delhi bowling. The ex-India opener made a stroke-filled 83 to save the holders the blushes, helping them reach 179 all in the first innings. Pace bowler Aditya Thakare then took 4/14 to reduce Delhi to 41/4.
It wasn’t the first time Jaffer had tamed Delhi. He has been doing this for years—at Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Sunday, and at the Wankhede Stadium and at the Jamia Millia grounds.
“You get a team against whom you enjoy and are able to score runs. I am glad as Delhi is a top quality side with a top attack. But I have been dismissed by them a few times too,” said Jaffer, who has played 31 Tests.
Ishant Sharma led the Delhi attack on a green wicket and Vidarbha were soon tottering at 60-odd for 4.
Jaffer’s duel with Sharma was the key and the success the batsman had by playing his trademark strokes against the lanky pacer kept the visitors alive. Jaffer was particularly harsh on any delivery straying even a bit on the legs as he whipped a few fours off Sharma. The majority of his boundaries came off Sharma’s bowling.
Sharma, who didn’t get a wicket before lunch, returned to take the fifth wicket, bowling Akshay Wadkar through the gate. At the other end though, Jaffer was up to the challenge, leaving, defending and milking the bowling.
“A bowler like Ishant has the ability to produce a great delivery anytime. So you have to be extra careful against him,” said Jaffer.
Sharma eventually had Jaffer, bowled through the gate. Sharma also got Umesh Yadav before the Delhi batsmen returned to face the music. Delhi pace bowler Simarjeet Singh took four wickets.
Delhi’s batting has been a cause of concern and on a juicy wicket it was always going to be tough. Thakare stuck to a tight line, extracting some movement, as he had the Delhi batsmen leg before, caught behind and bowled too.
Vidarbha 179 (W Jaffer 83, Simarjeet 4/39, Ishant 3/45) vs Delhi 41/4 (A Thakare 4/14)