Himachal test for Kaif & Co

Ranji Trophy finalists Uttar Pradesh will aim to assert their supremacy in limited-over cricket also when they take on Himachal...

Written by Nadim Siraj | Agartala | Published: March 2, 2009 11:37 pm

Ranji Trophy finalists Uttar Pradesh will aim to assert their supremacy in limited-over cricket also when they take on Himachal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final on Monday.

Having secured the top position in the central zone leg of the one-day championship,the star-studded UP outfit has set sights on the title. However,Himachal,who have had a dream run this season,finishing second behind Delhi in north zone,are no pushovers.

“We lost the Ranji Trophy final (to Mumbai),and the loss hurt us a bit. Here,we are trying to prove the point that we can finish off the season on a winning note,” UP skipper Mohammad Kaif said after the nets at the MBB Stadium. The Ranji final saw UP coming into the one-day competition with a “renewed hunger” and they went on to collect 15 points from 4 matches.

With all their key players in form,UP are serious title contenders alongside Mumbai and Delhi. Their batsman have been among the runs,while the bowling has been outstanding — RP Singh,Imtiyaz Ahmed,Piyush Chawla have performed well throughout the season.

But Himachal coach Rajdeep Kalsi reminded that his side are proven giant-killers and shouldn’t be taken lightly. “We have beaten a team like Delhi (in the zonal leg). It means we have the wherewithal as well as the self-belief to pull more such wins against bigger teams,” the HP coach said.

The MBB wicket,which was in the centre of a controversy surrounding the washed out Tamil Nadu-Orissa pre-quarterfinal match on Saturday,is expected to be on the slower side as the day progresses,forcing Kaif to rely on spin options.

In another quarter-final clash,a depleted Baroda outfit will be tested by a confident Hyderabad at the far-off PTI Ground.

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App

    Live Cricket Scores & Results