Coach promises shoes, Dafedar walks the talk
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A couple of days ago, Mumbai U-16 coach Vinod Raghavan while on a shopping trip to Connaught Place, noticed that one of his players – Khizar Dafedar was a bit subdued. Dafedar was nervous about playing the final of the Vijay Merchant Trophy against Delhi. To boost his confidence, Raghavan promised the boy a pair of Tommy Hilfiger shoes if he scored a century and managed to take his side to victory.
Dafedar has done his bit, scoring an unbeaten 124 and taken his side to a total of 270/2 at stumps on the first day at the St. Stephens ground. The right hander's century was his second of the competition and his effort has given Mumbai a platform from which to take the game away from the hosts.
Dafedar came to the crease after the fall of opener Adeeb Usmani for a 75 ball 54, with the score on 74. Dafedar then added 57 with opener Omprakash Jaiswal before the latter was dismissed by off-spinner Nitin Tanwar. Jaiswal's wicket however was Delhi's final bit of success for the day as Dafedar shared an unbroken partnership of 139 runs with Arman Jaffer who is batting on 55.
The two played in contrasting fashion. While Jaffer played mostly along the ground, Dafedar maintained an aggressive streak regularly hitting over the infield. He scored 98 of his runs in boundaries (five sixes and 17 fours), reaching his century off 177 balls with a backfoot punch through the covers.
On a good batting wicket, Delhi were unlucky as on a couple of occasions the ball fell just in front of the fielder. They were also guilty however of making things more difficult for themselves as they fluffed a couple of catches. While Himmat Singh's missed chance at slip off Usmani didn't prove to costly as the opener without much addition to his score, Ravi Chowdhari's let off of the season's highest scorer Jaffer when the latter was on 28 will likely be expensive.
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