Karnataka-Gujarat clash to be a cracker

Published: Tuesday, December 16, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Ahmedabad: Eyeing a semi-final berth, a spirited Gujarat would look to decimate visitors Karnataka as a keen contest between the two teams gets underway for the Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera on Wednesday.

Gujarat is locked with Hyderabad on eight points from four matches while Karnataka, who have little to cheer from their recent performances, lags at six from equal outings.

Bolstered by the return of speedster Siddharth Trivedi, who was playing for India 'A' against Sri Lanka 'A', the hosts go into the match with a three-pronged pace attack using Lalit Patel and Shyamal Bhatt as other two bowlers.

"Our strength has been fast bowling. Lalit has performed exceedingly well and taken about 17 wickets this season. We will go in with three pacers," Gujarat coach Vijay Patel said.

Bhatt, who was brought in place of Trivedi, has been retained in place of injured Hitesh Majmudar. Gujarat has also dropped out-of-form left-handed batsman Kirat Damani and given a chance to Hem Joshipura.

Undaunted by presence of international players like Venkatesh Prasad and Sunil Joshi, Gujarat feels that balance is tilted in their favour due to Karnataka's "poor shows" in their previous Ranji matches this season.

However, Gujarat will have to guard against experienced Prasad as also Dodda Ganesh given the fact that playing on hometurf has not been much to the convenience in previous matches against Tamil Nadu and Hyderabad.

Hyderabad beat Karnataka to gain full points

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