Wasim Jaffer, India's top domestic cricket batsman, going strong at 40

This was Jaffer's eighth score of 200 or more, and first since 2009.

Wasim Jaffer, India's top domestic cricket batsman, going strong at 40
Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Former India opener and Ranji Trophy record-holder Wasim Jaffer on Thursday ticked off two more milestones in his illustrious career — crossing 18,000 runs in first-class cricket and achieving the highest individual score in the Irani Cup.

On day two of the 2018 Irani Cup between his adopted team of Vidarbha and Rest of India (RoI), the 40-year-old, in his 242nd first-class match, went past the 18,000 mark and then surpassed Murali Vijay's 266 with an unbeaten 285 to hold the highest score in the tournament. 

This was Jaffer's eighth score of 200 or more, and first since 2009. Overall, the former India batsman has 53 first-class centuries.

The Irani Cup pits the current Ranji Trophy champions against RoI, and Jaffer was a key figure in Vidarbha winning the title with 595 runs in nine matches at an average of 54.09.

Jaffer has been the top batsman in Indian domestic cricket and has a mammoth 18,000 runs in a career spanning more than two decades. He has played 242 first-class matches with an astonishing average of around 50 till March 16, 2018.

A lightly-built opening batsman with the style and panache of the young Mohammad Azharuddin, much was expected of him on his Test debut in February 2000. But South African pacers Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock proved too hot to handle. Even though he showed glimpses of a steely and unflappable temperament, his international career never took off.

In Test cricket, Jaffer has 1,944 runs in 31 matches at an average of 34.10, and his highest score is 212. He played his last Test match against South Africa at Kanpur in April 2008. 

After losing his place in the Test side to former opener Gautam Gambhir, Jaffer made a strong statement through a bumper Ranji season in 2008-09, scoring 1260 runs at 84, including a triple-century. He also captained Mumbai to their 38th and 39th Ranji title, as well as overseeing West Zone's 16th Duleep Trophy success in early 2010. 

He didn't get enough chances in international limited overs match and T20 cricket too. Jaffer played only two ODIs, scoring just 10 runs. He played just 23 matches T20s and scored 616 runs. 

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