Baroda take on Bengal in semi-finals tomorrow

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2006, 18:23 [IST]
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Kolkata:Having put up an awesome show in the current season, Baroda appear favourites on current form, while Bengal hope to exploit local advantage and continue the momentum they displayed in the previous match, in a semi-final clash of the five-day Ranji Trophy Elite group encounter beginning here tomorrow.

Coasting to outright victories in three group 'B' league games, Baroda topped the pool culling 19 points, the highest among all the 15 teams competing in the elite panel.

''We have not lost any of the matches. And our confidence is at an all-time high,'' Baroda coach B S Sandhu said on the eve of the match at the Eden Gardens.

The visitors beat Hyderabad by 220 runs, carved out an emphatic innings and 93 run win over Uttar Pradesh and humbled Punjab by 50 runs, riding on outstanding batting performances from the likes of Jacob Martin, Pinal Shah, Connor Willams and R K Solanki.

In the bowling department, spinner Rajesh Pawar and seamer Rakesh Patel have served the team well.

Skipper Martin has been particularly brilliant, piling up 486 runs, inclusive of an unbeaten 251 against Uttar Pradesh.

However, they would miss the services of an injured Satyajit Parab who could not make it to the city.

The Baroda team management announced the 12 for the match, and said that the final team would be decided tomorrow after a final look at the pitch.

''We will then decide whether to go for an additional batsman or an additional seamer,'' said Sandhu, a member of the World Cup winning Indian team of 1983.

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