Kerala to play their first Ranji knockout against Vidarbha

A Ranji Trophy match will be telecast for the first time this season, a ground will make its Ranji debut, and a team will play the first knockout match in its Ranji history as India’s premier domestic tournament reaches its quarter-final stage on December 7.

The match between 41-time champions Mumbai and the form team Karnataka, to be played in Nagpur where India beat Sri Lanka earlier this week, will be live on BCCI’s broadcast partners. Although select matches were webcast in the league stages, this will be the first match on TV. Karnataka blitzed through their group with four wins and two draws, and have among their ranks Mayank Agarwal, who has already reached 1064 runs and has sights on VVS Laxman’s record of 1465 runs in a single Ranji season. Mumbai, meanwhile, had to wait until Monday to ensure progress to the next round after having to launch rearguards in the league stages.

Vijayawada’s Dr Gokaraju Liala Gangaaraju ACA Cricket Ground will make its Ranji debut as it hosts the match between Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. Delhi will likely be without their full-time captain Ishant Sharma, as the third Test starts on December 2, but could well be available should they make it to the semi-final. The ground had made its first-class debut when it hosted two India-New Zealand A matches in September-October.

This will be the first time Kerala will play a knockout match in the Ranji Trophy. With 31 points, they finished second to the defending champions and the dominant Gujarat side in Group B. With two centuries and an average of 57.70, a rejuvenated Sanju Samson has led their charge. Kerala will face Vidarbha in Surat. Vidarbha led Group D with 31 points.

Gujarat, who won five of their six matches outright, will go up against Bengal in Jaipur.

Unlike the league matches, which are four-day matches, quarter-finals will be played over five days. The BCCI did not explain how the match-ups was arrived at nor is there any information on how the semi-final match-ups will be decided.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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