Bengaluru, January 23: Eight-time Ranji Trophy champions Karnataka are all set to take on Saurashtra in the semifinal clash at their home ground M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday.
Led by the seasoned pro Manish Pandey, Karnataka sport a strong and in-form outfit in their 32nd semifinal game in the Ranji Trophy history. Meanwhile, Karnataka will be facing Jaydev Unadkat-skippered Saurashtra for the first time.
Having won their last-eight game in a convincing fashion, Saurashtra is now bolstered with the return of Test star Cheteshwar Pujara in their ranks along with Harvik Desai and Sheldon Jackson.
In their previous clash in the Elite Group A league game, Karnataka went down by 87 runs at Rajkot. And now, the hosts will be looking to avenge that loss to seal their spot in the final.
En route to their last-four match, Karnataka overcame a stiff challenge from Rajasthan at the same venue last week. But Saurashtra seem to be brimming in confidence following their record-breaking chase in the quarterfinals against Uttar Pradesh in Lucknow. Saurashtra overhauled a target of 373 to record a six-wicket win.
Karnataka will have a daunting task tackling Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara. Having returned from a successful tour of Australia, Pujara could be a tough customer for the hosts’ bowling unit. The interesting fact is – Pujara made his Test debut at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium and the venue is quite special. And also, the right-hander averages a splendid 68.01 in the Ranji Trophy and has scored two centuries and three fifties against Karnataka. In 2013, Pujara smashed 352 against Karnataka in the knockout game.
Watch out for Siddharth & Nischal: These two youngsters from Karnataka are in impressive form and have played a key role in the campaign. Siddharth has amassed 708 runs from nine matches followed by Nischal with 620 runs.
32nd semifinal for Karnataka:
This is Karnataka’s 32nd Ranji Trophy semifinal. The hosts have won on 14 occasions to make the final while Saurashtra entered their sixth.
Teams: Karnataka: Manish Pandey (captain), Shreyas Gopal (vice-captain), Vinay Kumar R, Mayank Agarwal, Nischal D, Karun Nair, Samarth R, Mithun A, Ronit More, Gowtham K, Prasidh M Krishna, Siddharth KV, Suchith J, Sharath BR (WK), Sharath Srinivas (WK).
Saurashtra: Arpit Vasavada, Jaydev Unadkat (captain), Cheteshwar Pujara, Sheldon Jackson, Snell Patel (WK), Harvik Desai, Prerak Mankad, Chirag Jani, Avi Barat, Kishan Parmar, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Hardik Rathod, Vandit Jivrajani, Kamlesh Makwana, Chetan Sakariya, Vishwaraj Jadeja,
Stats by Channagiri Keshavmurthy
Ranji Trophy: Kanataka vs Saurashtra
Highest Total in an Innings
Lowest Total in an innings
Highest Individual Score
Best Innings Bowling
Best Match Bowling
Way to Semifinals by Karnataka in 2018/19
|Start Date||vs||Venue||Result for Karnataka|
|Nov 12, 2018||Vid||Nagpur||Drawn – Lead Gained|
|Nov 20,2018||Mum||Belagavi||Drawn – Lead Gained|
|Nov 28,2018||Mah||Mysore||Won by 7 wkts|
|Dec 06, 2018||Sau||Rajkot||Lost by 87 runs|
|Dec 14, 2018||Guj||Surat||Drawn – Lead Gained|
|Dec 22, 2018||Rlys||Shimoga||Won by 176 runs|
|Dec 30, 2018||Chgh||Bengaluru (Alur)||Won by 198 runs|
|Jan 07, 2019||Bar||Vadodara||Lost by 2 wkts|
Way to Semi Finals by Saurashtra in 2018/19
|Start Date||vs||Venue||Result for Saurashtra|
|Nov 1, 2018||Cha||Rajkot||drawn – lead gained|
|Nov 12, 2018||Rly||Rajkot||won by 3 wkts|
|Nov 20, 2018||Guj||Nadiad||drawn – lead gained|
|Nov 28, 2018||Bar||Rajkot||drawn – lead conceded|
|Dec 6, 2018||Knk||Rajkot||won by 87 runs|
|Dec 14, 2018||Mah||Nasik||won by 5 wkts|
|Dec 22, 2018||Mum||Mumbai||drawn – lead conceded|
|Jan 7, 2019||Vid||Rajkot||drawn – lead gained|
|Jan 15, 2019 (Q/F)||UP||Lucknow||won by 6 wkts|
Most Runs in 2018/19 (300 & above)
|R Vinay Kumar||312||6|