Sports Reporter :
AN IN-FORM Vidarbha will take on an unbeaten Andhra in their maiden quarter-finals of the Women’s One-Day Tournament at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Tuesday. It is for the first time that Vidarbha eves have made it to the knock-out stage in the 50-over format of the national tournament. With a thrilling four-run win over Karnataka, Vidarbha made the cut in final league match and by virtue of their head-on result (though they had inferior net run rate), they topped the group ahead of Karnataka after the two teams were locked at 16 points each from an identical four victories.
Stand-in skipper Disha Kasat, who got a chance to lead as regular skipper Komal Zanzad injured her fingers while attempting a catch of her own bowling against Delhi, took the opportunity with both hands. Not only she roared back to form with a historical hundred (126 from 149 balls with 15 fours and two sixes), but led the side to last-eight of the event for the first time. Once again, a lot will depend on Kasat, who carried her bat through. An in-form Bharti Fulmali has been sensational for the team in the tournament so far. She is at seventh in list of top scorers with 283 runs. She has already hit three half centuries from five games and has had a top score of 94. Vidarbha will be expecting that all-rounder Nupur Kohale continues with her form.
With 15 wickets from five matches, Kohale ended the league phase as second best bowler of the tourney with 4-19 as her best figures. Vaishnavi Khandkar and Gargi Wankar have played their part well for Vidarbha. Andhra were the only unbeaten team in Elite Group C. They defeated Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Chandigarh in the league matches to end with full 20 points. For Andhra, CH Jhansi Lakshmi amassed 284 runs with an unbeaten hundred and was one place above Fulmali while G Chandra Lekha with just eight was their top bowler. If Vidarbha beat Andhra on Tuesday, they will play winners of Jharkhand versus Karnataka match (to be played on Monday) in the semi-finals slated for April 1. Final will be played on April 4.