With Thursday's exciting action, the league stage of Ranji Trophy 2018-19 edition came to an end. Eight teams made their way to the quarterfinals- Vidarbha, Saurashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. The next round of the tournament will commence on 15th January. Here is the line-up for the quarterfinals-
- Vidarbha vs Team Uttarakhand
- Saurashtra vs Uttar Pradesh
- Kerala vs Gujarat
- Karnataka vs Team Rajasthan
Karnataka will play Ranji Trophy quarterfinals against Rajasthan at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on January 15. The other venues are yet to be been announced and it's home and away format.
The only team which had already booked a spot before the last league round was Rajasthan. Kerala made it through to quarterfinals for the second year in a row in a thrilling tie against Himachal Pradesh. Kerala chased a 295-run target on the last day of the league stage.
Saurashtra will get a massive boost when they square-off against Uttar Pradesh as Cheteshwar Pujara returns to the fold.
Meanwhile, Bengal salvaged a draw against Punjab in their Group B encounter ending Punjab’s hope of making it to the next round.
This year, five teams were supposed to qualify for quarter-finals from the first two groups (A and B) as per the points earned while two from group C and one from group D will join them for last eight stage.
In a bizarre situation, Vidarbha (29), Saurashtra (29), Karnataka (27), Gujarat (26) qualified from group A while Kerala (26) with more outright wins (4) than Baroda (26 points, 3 wins) have qualified from group B.
Bengal mentor Arun Lal and Punjab skipper Mandeep Singh both termed the format flawed.
Bengal finished with 23 points and were third in group B and as per old format would have qualified. (With inputs from PTI)