Past stars, future heroes clash in KOs
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Past stars, future heroes clash in KOs

The top eight face off in encounters across the country.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2010 00:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Railways gear up for the Baroda obstacle
Vadodara: This one is the most even contest of all. Railways, who woke up late but played well enough to qualify as the second best from Pool A, will be up against Pool B runner-up team, Baroda.

An uphill task awaits them as Baroda will be backed to the hilt by the home crowd. The chance of exploiting their home track is not theirs but one thing's for sure: they won't budge an inch. Seasoned campaigners Murali Kartik, JP Yadav and Sanjay Bangar will unfold all their experience in this knockout game. Their youngsters have done well too but much will depend on the trio.

Baroda are strong and they have power-hitter Yusuf Pathan and seamer Munaf Patel. The hosts, no doubt, will begin favourites despite the fact that they have quite a few new faces. Satyajit Parab and Jacob Martin have retired while Irfan Pathan is nursing an injury.

Powerhouse Mumbai on a roll but Rajasthan ready
Two former India openers, Wasim Jaffer and Aakash Chopra, face-off in this game. Jaffer's Mumbai begin favourites but don't discount Rajasthan just yet.

They are playing at home and their pace bowlers have run riot in the Plate League. Remember Deepak Chahar, who knocked Hyderabad out for just 21. Jaffer says it'll be interesting to face the duo of Chahar and former India pacer Pankaj Singh. The Rajasthan bowlers will be tested as Mumbai boast of one of the strongest batting line-ups what with Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane ready to roll.

Star-studded Karnataka favourites against MP
Indore: Madhya Pradesh were relegated in the 2004-05 season and despite coming close on several occasions to move to Elite level, they never did. After ending their 5-year long wait this season, they face last year's runners-up, Karnataka at their home ground. They have no known faces except possibly Naman Ojha, and playing against the likes of Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, R Vinay Kumar and A Mithun can have a demoralizing effect.

Haryana to test Badri and Co on quick track
The battle between two of India's premier spinners should have been the highlight of this game - R Ashwin of Tamil Nadu and Amit Mishra of Haryana. However, the pitch here has supported swing and movement, hence the scoring been difficult.

Tamil Nadu have sterling batsmen like Dinesh Karthik, S Badrinath, who is the leading run-getter in Ranji this season among others.

Haryana would know their weaknesses for they have Hemang Badani, who led Tamil Nadu for a while and has 374 runs on this track.

First Published: Dec 23, 2010 23:59 IST