THOUGH victory from the jaws of defeat in their last match against Gujarat has kept them afloat for a berth in the Ranji Trophy knock-outs, it would be a daunting task for Vidarbha to not only beat Punjab but earn a bonus point as well in their last league match of the season.
Vidarbha will take on hosts at IS Bindra Cricket Stadium, PCA, Mohali from Tuesday.
From Group D, Madhya Pradesh, with 32 points from six games, have already qualified for the quarter-finals. Punjab and Vidarbha both have recorded three wins each but the former are at second place with 26 points while Vidarbha are third with 19 points. A bonus-point victory is a must for Vidarbha while Punjab can even afford to lose the game without conceding that vital bonus point. Home advantage definitely gives Punjab an edge.
After the initial two wins in the tournament against Railways and Tripura at home, Vidarbha have looked a pretty average side.
They were stunned Jammu and Kashmir and later defeated by defending champions Madhya Pradesh. Chandigarh game was a big opportunity for the former two-time champs but fog and bad light did not allow even first innings of the both the sides to be completed leaving the teams with just one point each.
Vidarbha were down and out against Gujarat but the bowlers, led by the ever reliable left-arm spinner Aditya Sarvate, who took 11 wickets in the match, did a wonderful job in the second innings to post a historic win. It was stumper Akshay Wadkar’s first match as Vidarbha skipper. Vidarbha have talented youngsters but they are wasting the opportunities that are coming their way. The bowlers and batters must be brave and give their combined best for one last time. It is only for bravehearts that even fortune has to favour.