Gwalior: Aligarh Muslim University (Northern Stallions) take on VBS University Jaunpur (Eastern Eagles) in a must-win group A game of the Toyota University Cricket Championship here on Sunday. With local side Jiwaji University, Gwalior getting the better of Jaunpur by 12 runs on Saturday night, nothing short of a victory will do for the Aligarh boys.
A defeat against Jaunpur can spoil Aligarh’='s party. With two defeats in as many matches, the tournament is well-nigh over for the Jaunpur boys but Sunday will be D-Day for the Stallions. AMU were handsomely thrashed by a much superior Jain University Bengaluru in their first match but Sunday will be a battle between almost equals.
New ball bowlers Mansoor Ahmad and Ravindra Singh will have to take the initiative for Aligarh. Both were impressive against Bengaluru -- Ravindra gave away only 11 runs in his 4 overs and Mansoor conceded only 17. Both picked a wicket each.
Jaunpur would like to bow out with a win and hence both sides on Sunday will also want their top-order to fire with Aligarh's Yasir Kaleem probably the best bat from either side. Raj Srivastava, Awanish Yadav, Nishant Rai and Praveen Dubey will be key to Jaunpur’s success while Abhinav Kataria, Kaleem, skipper Imran Saleem, Taha Ali and Rohit Saini will lead Aligarh's batting charge.
The Aligarh team will also be buoyed by the fact that they at least managed to give a fight to Jain University which also reflects on their net run-rate. Jaunpur boys though will have to take giant strides to improve upon their performance.
The match will also be important taking the semi-finals into equation. With Bangalore already through, a win for Aligarh will bring them level with Gwalior on points. Then the March 5th clash between Gwalior and Aligarh will decide the second semifinalist from group A.