Mumbai to clash with U P in Ranji semi-finals

Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006, 18:23 [IST]
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Mumbai:Former champions Mumbai will be hoping for nothing less than a win against a formidable Uttar Pradesh that will take them nearer to regaining the Ranji Trophy, when the two teams clash in the semi-finals at the Wankhede Stadium here, from January 20 to 24.

Mumbai, who enjoyed a six-match winning streak until their 65-run loss to arch-rivals Maharashtra at the same venue in the concluding Elite Division Group 'A' league tie, will also be hoping to put behind that complacency-tinged blemish and make amends with an improved performance.

The hosts have a blend of experience and youth, with talent that has made a significant contribution in their journey to the knock out.

Only the pressures of a big occasion like this, especially against opponents who are no pushovers, may inhibit their march.

Forced to drop opener Sushant Marathe and middle-order batsman Abhijit Shetye, 36-times champions Mumbai would be relying on Amol Muzumdar, Vinit Indulkar and Nishit Shetty to come up with significant innings, while they turn to captain Nilesh Kulkarni, Avishkar Salvi and Ramesh Powar to impress with the ball.

Once again all rounder Powar will be under pressure to deliver following a rewarding season that has effectively made him a key man in the squad.

Mumbai, of course, would have been delighted to have Wasim Jaffer for a crucial tie like this, which probably would have reduced the pressure.

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