The Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 is all set for the knockout stages after the league phase came to an end on Tuesday. The preliminary quarterfinals, to be held on Sunday, will be followed by the quarterfinals on December 21 and 22. The semifinals will take place on December 24 before the summit clash on December 26.
The table-toppers of the five Elite Groups – Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Saurashtra, Kerala and Services – secured their quarterfinals berths. The second-placed teams from the Elite Division – Vidarbha, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan – and Plate Group winner Tripura will vie for the three remaining quarterfinal spots in the preliminary quarters.
Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 Knockout Stages Schedule
|Preliminary quarterfinal 1||Vidarbha vs Tripura||December 19||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Preliminary quarterfinal 2||Karnataka vs Rajasthan||December 19||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Preliminary quarterfinal 3||Uttar Pradesh vs Madhya Pradesh||December 19||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Quarterfinal 1||Himachal Pradesh vs TBD||December 21||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Quarterfinal 2||Tamil Nadu vs TBD||December 21||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Quarterfinal 3||Saurashtra vs TBD||December 22||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Quarterfinal 4||Kerala vs Services||December 22||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Semifinal 1||TBD vs TBD||December 24||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Semifinal 2||TBD vs TBD||December 24||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
|Final||TBD vs TBD||December 26||9:00 AM||Jaipur|
The marquee 50-over domestic tournament had its fair share of upsets this year as defending champion Mumbai’s horror campaign (one win from five games) came to an end with an 18-run defeat to minnow Pondicherry. Heavyweight Delhi bowed out of the competition with just two wins from its five matches following a four-wicket loss against Saurashtra as star India batter Shikhar Dhawan failed to make a mark and strengthen his case for a return to the national side.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka pipped Bengal and Pondicherry to the knockouts owing to a superior Net Run Rate despite suffering heavy losses in their final league matches. In Elite Group D, Madhya Pradesh edged out Maharashtra in the qualification race to cut short Ruturaj Gaikwad’s dream run which included four centuries in five matches. Saurashtra and Tripura were the only two sides to move to the knockouts undefeated.
Stars in focus
All eyes will be on Madhya Pradesh’s Venkatesh Iyer as he tries to make a case for an ODI call-up ahead of India’s tour of South Africa. The left-hander is the fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament so far with 349 runs in five matches, including two centuries. Karnataka will rely on the services of its skipper Manish Pandey whose decent run has seen him score 218 runs at an average of 54.50. As Kerala takes on Services in the only confirmed quarterfinal matchup ahead of the pre-quarters, Sanju Samson will hope to bounce back after a disappointing outing thus far.
Leading run-scorers (league phase)
Amongst the bowlers, Tamil Nadu’s Washington Sundar has marked his return from injury with 12 wickets from five matches including a fifer against Pondicherry. However, Madhya Pradesh’s Avesh Khan, who was included in India’s T20I squad against New Zealand in November, will have to pull his socks up and improve on his return of five wickets in five matches at 5.77 runs an over.
Leading wicket-taker (league phase)