Karnataka eye last 8 berth

Karnataka eye last 8 berth

Karnataka eye last 8 berth

Karnataka's run of three wins and a draw in four matches has taken them to the doorstep of a quarterfinal berth. When the eight-time champions take on Uttar Pradesh here from Friday, they will be looking to be the first team from Group 'A' to make it to the last-eight of the Ranji Trophy.  

R Vinay Kumar's men top the table with 23 points and they just need to ensure they don't lose the remaining two matches. A single point from here will see Karnataka advance.

Karnataka's tremendous form is not a good sign for Uttar Pradesh, who have already crashed out of the tournament. With the presence of India star Suresh Raina notwithstanding, Uttar Pradesh have had a disappointing season in which they have failed to register a single win. With three defeats and one draw, they lie just above the bottom-placed Assam (2) with four points.  

It is their collective performance that has helped Karnataka enjoy a fine run so far.

Openers Mayank Agarwal (534) and R Samarth (405) are the top-run getters while Karun Nair is in good touch. The seasoned batsman struck back-to-back centuries after missing Karnataka's first tie of the season.  

Karnataka's fielding hasn't been  consistent. Their slip catching, which showed signs of improvement in the previous match against Delhi, will be put to test here.  K L Rahul's unavailability due to national commitment could give D Nischal another game. The right-hander failed to impress on his Ranji debut against Maharashtra in Pune.

Wicket-keeper batsman CM Gautam is due for a big one and it is a perfect opportunity for the senior batsman to find his touch.  

"It looks like a true pitch that will assist both batsmen and bowlers," said Karnataka assistant coach G K Anil Kumar on Thursday.  

Despite his dismal show -- 105 runs from eight innings -- Raina will be Uttar Pradesh's key man.  

Other fixtures: Group A: At Guwahati: Assam vs Hyderabad; At Delhi: Delhi vs Maharashtra.

Group B: At Surat: Gujarat vs Rajasthan; At Rohtak: Jammu & Kashmir vs Haryana; At Thumba: Kerala vs Saurashtra.

Group C: At Ongole: Andhra vs Mumbai; At Vadodara: Baroda vs Odisha; At Indore: Tamil Nadu vs Madhya Pradesh

Group D: At Raipur: Chhattisgarh vs Services; At Porvorim: Goa vs Vidarbha; At Amritsar: Punjab vs Bengal.

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