Irani Trophy 2013: Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane fifties lead Mumbai's fightback

Wasim Jaffer, who has represented India in 31 Tests, scored 80 off 126 balls © Getty Images (File Pic)

Mumbai: Feb 7, 2013

Mumbai batsmen Wasim Jaffer and Ajinkya Rahane set up an interesting next three days of the Irani Trophy against Rest of India after taking their team to 155 for two at stumps on Day Two, in reply to RoI’s 526 all-out.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Aditya Tare fell early, but Jaffer and Rahane shook off the early wobble and took their side to safety.

The duo, who usually open for Mumbai, provided a right headache for the watching selectors after RoI’s openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay too were among the runs.

With a tough series against Australia coming up, and an out of form first-choice pairing of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, it will be interesting to see who turns up to open India’s batting in the first Test at Chennai.

Jaffer, who has represented India in 31 Tests, was unbeaten on 74 off 118 balls. His knock included eight fours and a towering six over long-on off Pragyan Ojha.

Rahane, meanwhile, provided able company to the 34-year-old and scored an unbeaten 55 off 108 deliveries.

Nightwatchman Shardul Thakur accompanied Rahane to stumps after Jaffer’s late dismissal.

Earlier, Mumbai finally bowled out the Rest of India for 526 after lunch.

After losing the wicket of Harbhajan Singh early in the morning, it would have seemed that Mumbai would restrict RoI to under 400. But Suresh Raina and Abhimanyu Mithun had other plans as they shared a vital 153-run seventh-wicket partnership to thwart Mumbai.

The duo upped the ante at the Wankhede by scoring at over a run a ball.

Raina struck 14 boundaries and five massive sixes. He made 134 runs off 169 balls at a strike rate of 79.28. A major chunk of his runs came on the off-side backward of square as he toyed around with Mumbai’s hapless attack.

Mithun, meanwhile, scored his 51 off 90 balls including nine boundaries and a six. He was eventually trapped in front by Ankeet Chavan to make it 505 for seven.

Pragyan Ojha could not last long, and Raina followed him to the pavilion after holing out to Shardul Thakur off Chavan’s bowling.

The left-arm spinner then took his third wicket, that of Ishwar Pandey, to finish RoI’s innings.

Brief Scores: Rest of India 526 (Suresh Raina 134, Murali Vijay 116; Ankeet Chavan 3 for 56, Abhishek Nayar 2 for 70) lead Mumbai 155 for 2 (Wasim Jaffer 80, Ajinkya Rahane 55*; Ishwar Pandey 1 for 33, S Sreesanth 1 for 33) by 371 runs.