Mumbai take on holders Karnataka in must-win tie

MUMBAI : A battle royal is on the cards when under pressure Mumbai, gunning for an outright victory to seal a quarter final berth, clash with high-flying defending champions Karnataka in a Ranji Trophy Group A match commencing at the Wankhede Stadium tomorrow.
While it’s a must-win and final league game for 40-time champions Mumbai, who are trailing fourth in the league table with 17 points to their credit behind toppers Karnataka (32 points), no. 2 Tamil Nadu (23) and no. 3 Baroda (18), the visitors are under no such pressure after having booked their spot in the last eight with a match in hand.
These two outfits have fought many a memorable battle in the past for honours and the upcoming one too promises a no-holds barred encounter, especially with rival captains – Aditya Tare and Vinay Kumar – assuring that victory is what their respective outfits would be aiming for.
“We have prepared well for this game and we are going to play for a win. The victory over Baroda has given us a lot of confidence, especially as it was achieved without some top players (like Wasim Jaffer and Abhishek Nayar),” said Mumbai captain and wicket keeper Tare, who took over the mantle from Suryakumar Yadav prior to the away match in Vadodara.
“We are treating this game as a pre-quarter final and will go for a win. We are confident, but are taking it one game at a time. Beating Mumbai is always special and playing at the Wankhede Stadium against them is a great opportunity,” said Kumar who is the second-highest wicket taker for his team with 29 scalps to his credit in this Ranji season.
Karnataka’s progress this season, after having swept to the title last year, has been spectacular. Barring a small backward step they took against Baroda in Mysore by conceding the first innings lead, the southern team has rolled over all their rivals to notch up 4 outright wins from 7 games so far.
They have five batsmen who have amassed over 400 runs, including newly India-capped opener K L Rahul who comes into the game after notching up a marathon 337 against Uttar Pradesh in Bengaluru. (AGENCIES)


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