Karnataka take on Jharkhand

Cricket Vijay Hazare semis

Chasing a treble, Ranji champions Karnataka will be eyeing to continue their dream run, while Bengal will be under pressure against Railways in a grudge match in the Vijay Hazare Trophy semifinal double header here on Friday.

Spearheaded by medium pacer R Vinay Kumar, who has grabbed 50 wickets from the last 10 matches (in both list A and first-class formats), Karnataka also boast of a formidable batting line-up, with Robin Uthappa and youngster Karun Nair scoring centuries while posting a massive 301 against Gujarat in the quarters.

Having won the Ranji Trophy and the Irani Cup, Karnataka will be eyeing a hat-trick of titles.In Jharkhand, who will be missing India pacer Varun Aaron, Karnataka should have an easy opponent in the first semifinal at the JU second campus ground in Saltlake.

“In limited overs, you can’t underestimate a side. We’re not thinking much about the opposition but our focus is on our strength. If we play to our potential we can beat any side,” Karnataka skipper Vinay said.

But going by the local interest and the intense rivalry that the two teams have this season, all eyes would be on the Bengal versus Railways fixture at the floodlit Eden Gardens.
Railways had a bitter rivalry against Bengal this season, beginning with Murali Kartik’s ‘Mankading’ of a Bengal batsman in the Ranji group stage.

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