Gwalior: In the final group A match at the Toyota University Cricket Championship on Tuesday, Aligarh Muslim University clash with Jiwaji University, Gwalior to decide which team goes to the semifinal stage of the tournament. Both Aligarh (Northern Stallions) and Gwalior (Western Wizards) are equal on points but the former have a better run-rate.
The best for either side would be to just concentrate on an outright win than banking on anything else. With Jain University, Bengaluru already through from the group after three victories in three matches and VBS Purvanchal University, Jaunpur out of the tournament after three consecutive losses, the pressure will be on Aligarh and Gwalior to perform when it matters.
Both Aligarh and Gwalior have a win each and their victories have come against the group's weakest team, Jaunpur. While the Jiwaji University boys beat Jaunpur by 12 runs, Aligarh won by five wickets. The match may boil down to a clash between Aligarh's bowlers and Gwalior's batsmen. Against Jaunpur, Gwalior's top three batsmen Sanat Gurjar, Bharat Anant, Prashant Mavai scored solid 30s and Ravi Sikarwar, batting at No. 4, hit a cameo 27.
Gwalior skipper Sohraab Dhaliwal is buoyed by his side's improved bowling and he will be hoping to replicate that in the crucial match against Aligarh. Dhaliwal and all-rounder Mavai have eight wickets between themselves.
Gwalior will be wary of Aligarh's paceman Ravindra Singh, who has an economy rate of mere 3 runs-per-over in the 8 overs he has bowled in the tournament to go along with his 3 wickets. Apart from Ravindra, Aligarh's opening batsman-wicketkeeper Yasir Kaleem poses a threat with the bat, scoring 78 runs in the two games.
Overall, Tuesday's encounter can be termed as a battle of equals. Aligarh may be higher in the points table, but Gwalior have the home advantage. With eagerness to do well in the final game at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium, and a TUCC semi-final spot for grabs, the marquee clash is likely to bring the best out of the two teams. Who will make the last-four? Let's wait and watch.