Sports Reporter :
CHASING over five hundred runs is a big challenge. It needs a couple of big knocks and more than a couple of good partnerships to get past that score. Vidarbha youngsters have got the job half done. In pursuit of Punjab’s 527-8 declared, Vidarbha were 370-4 in 133 overs at stumps on third day of their Cooch Behar Trophy match at Deccan Gymkhana Cricket Ground, Pune on Tuesday. Vidarbha still trail by 157 runs but with centurion Abhishek Agrawal (134*; 249b, 18x4, 1x6) and big-hitting all-rounder Jagjot Singh Sasan (46*; 77b, 6x4, 1x6) still at the crease, Vidarbha can hope of a first innings lead.
The unfinished fifth wicket pair has added 84 runs from 153 balls. Three points in this game will almost take them to the knock-out stage. Starting the day, the overnight not out batsmen Zubairoddin (68) and Rohit Binkar (66) carried forward the good work taking the score to 106 before the latter got out in 53.1 overs. Zubairoddin and Agrawal then added a further 72 runs in 110 balls. Danish Malewar (19) got a start helping Agrawal in their 52-run stand. Agrawal had one more fifty-plus association in the middle. He and skipper Mohd Faiz (16) put on 56 runs. With enough time on hand and six wickets in their pocket, Vidarbha stand a better chance of joining Jharkhand, who have already qualified from the Elite Group A.