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Ranji Trophy 2019-20: Here’s how the quarter-finals lineup has shaped after completion of the league stage

In the end, it is Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Bengal, Andhra and last years’ runners-up Saurashtra who have made it to the Top-8. 

Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Two months. 38 teams. Three Groups- Plate, Elite Group C & Group A & B. 169 four-day games, and it took the final day of the league-stage to decide the quarterfinalists of the 2019-20 edition of what has been a fascinating season of Ranji Trophy cricket. 

And, what makes the season even more engrossing that most of the high-profile teams like Mumbai, Delhi, defending champions Vidarbha, Tamil Nadu has failed to make it to the final eight, a testimony to the level of competitiveness of India’s premier domestic tournament.

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In the end, it is Goa, Gujarat, Odisha, Jammu & Kashmir, Bengal, Andhra and last years’ runners-up Saurashtra who have made it to the Top-8. 

Elite Group A & B

Teams Qualified: Saurashtra, Gujarat, Andra, Bengal & Karnataka

Coming into the ninth and final round of the round-robin stage, Gujarat [35 points], Saurashtra [31 points] and Andra [27] had already qualified for the top-8. The other teams to join them post the completion of the final day of Round 09 are Karnataka and Bengal.

Bengal claimed their spot in the quarters after they claimed a 48-run win in a low-scoring encounter against Punjab. That Bengal even got into winning position was because of two gutsy knocks [73 not-out & 65] by Manoj Tiwary on what was a very difficult wicket to bat on in Patiala. In the end, Shahbaz Ahmed’s 4-44 sealed the deal for the East Zone side as they went on to dismiss Punjab for 141. Bengal finished at the second spot in the points table, succeeded by Gujarat, who continued their dominant run and capped off the league-stage with an 8-wicket win over Andhra. 

Karnataka sealed their berth in the top-8 thanks to a Karun Nair masterclass [71*] in the fourth innings that paved way for an easy eight-wicket win. The win was, however, set-up by their bowlers- led by Prasidh Krishna [2-7] and Abhimanyu Mithun [3-26]- who bundled out Baroda for a mere 85 in their first innings. Prasidh returned to take another four-for [4-45] in the second innings while Ronit More [3-68] and Krishnappa Gowtham chipped in with two [2-99] to dismiss Baroda for 296 and set-up an eventual win.

Group C

Teams Qualified: Jammu-Kashmir & Odhisa

Jammu-Kashmir scripted history as they became the first team from the region to qualify in the top-8 of the Ranji Trophy since 2013-14 despite losing their final league-game against Haryana by two wickets. J&K topped the Group C with 39 points followed by Odisha [38 points], who followed suit after managing to hold off Jharkhand for a draw in the final fixture.

J&K was expected to host the match but according to a report by ESPNcricinfo, the encounter’s venue could be moved to Bengaluru. KSCA has already asked for a shift in the venue ‘considering various aspects and the logistics’.

Plate

Team Qualified: Goa

Goa continued with their whirlwind form as they became the only side in the tournament to amass 50 league-stage points after they thumped Mizoram by an innings & 211 runs to bring up their seventh win in nine games.

This is the third instance in the season that Goa won by a margin of an innings. The previous margins were: innings & 8 runs against Meghalaya, innings & 360 runs against Manipur, innings & 336 runs vs Arunachal Pradesh.

Ranji Trophy quarterfinal lineup:

Gujarat v Goa, at Valsad

J&K v Karnataka, TBC

Saurashtra v Andhra, at Ongole

Bengal v Odisha, at Cuttack

The quarter-finals will commence from February 20, 2020

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