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Ranji Trophy final, Day 2: Jaffer scores record-setting ton to put Mumbai on top

Mumbai: Riding on opener Wasim Jaffer`s record-setting 32nd hundred in the championship, Mumbai took firm control of their Ranji Trophy final against Saurashtra on day two at the Wankhede Stadium here today.

Jaffer scored a patient knock of 132 when other top order batsmen failed but Mumbai had enough useful partnerships to pile up 287 for 6 to take a 139-run lead.

Jaffer now has became the highest run-scorer in the history of Ranji trophy as he left behind Amol Muzumdar, whose tally stood at 9105.

Jaffer needed 83 to cross Muzumdar`s mark and after today`s innings his total is 9155. He also eclipsed Ajay Sharma`s record of 31 centuries in the championship.

Jaffer`s knock contained 16 fours and a six in 246 balls.

There was a brief period after tea when Saurashtra looked to be fighting their way back by taking three quick wickets’ including that of Jaffer to leave the hosts at 237 for 6 from 209 for 3.

But the unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 50 runs in 108 balls between Hiken Shah (41) and Dhawal Kulkarni (18) till the stumps ensured that Mumbai end the day without any more trouble.

Saurashtra needed early wickets this morning to make up for the the poor batting yesterday but Mumbai did not give them any gap to squeeze in.

Jaffer and Kaustubh Pawar (21) kept the visitors’ bowling attack at bay with cautious and slow batting after resuming at 19 for no loss.

Jaffer played a superb off driven four off Sauraya Sanandiya but then was lucky to survive a vociferous caught at the wicket appeal off Unadkat. The team`s 50 came in the 24th over and after almost two hour batting.

Jaffer, who will be 35 next month, broke shackles by hitting left-arm slow bowler Dharmendra Jadeja for three fours in an over, half-an-hour before the lunch.

He then lost his opening partner Pawar when the batsman offered a tame return catch to Sidharth Trivedi. The openers put on 75 for the first wicket in 33.3 overs.

Jaffer completed his half-century by lofting Jadeja for a six and after this sudden spurt in scoring helped Mumbai adjourn for lunch at 88 for 1 in 30 overs.

Wicket-keeper Aditya Tare was promoted in the order to no. 3 but he fell for just 3 by edging Saurya Sanandiya to the hands of Arpit Vasavada in the slip cordon.

The arrival of Sachin Tendulkar was greeted by the small crowd but the senior batsman played slowly, getting his first run off the 15th ball with a single to mid wicket.

Jaffer brought up the 100 of the innings in the 45th over with a fine off-driven four off Sanandiya in 17 minutes under four hours.

Tendulkar`s first boundary was a straight drive off left- left-arm pacer Unadkat and the next ball was dispatched to the mid-wicket nonchalantly with a flick for another four.

Mumbai got past Saurashtra’s score in the 52nd over as Jaffer struck Sanandiya for two successive fours.

His third-wicket stand of 68 run with Tendulkar ended when the latter was run out following a confusion.

Jaffer reached his 32nd hundred in the championship and 8th at Wankhede off the 192nd ball he faced with the help of 12 fours and a six. It was the batsman’s 47th first class hundred, including 5 in 31 Tests.

At tea, Mumbai were 181 for 3 off 61 overs’ ahead by 33 runs. Post-tea Jaffer became the highest run scorer in the championship but Mumbai lost three wickets quickly, including that of the centurion.

Abhishek Nayar, Mumbai’s top scorer with 940 runs this season, was the first to depart at 209 when his attempted shot to the off side against off spinner Kamlesh Makwana landed up as a dolly catch to mid wicket fielder Unadkat. The left hander made 26 off 81 minutes.

Jaffer and captain Ajit Agarkar (2) were packed off in successive overs by left arm spinner Dharmendra Jadeja.