GUWAHATI, Dec 5 � In a Plate Division Ranji Trophy Group B match, host Assam will play against Maharashtra from tomorrow at the Nehru Stadium here.
The four-day encounter is of academic interest only as Maharashtra have already entered the semifinal stage with 17 points from four matches while Assam have only six points in their kitty from as many matches and have no chance of making it into the last-four stage. Hyderabad is virtually through to the semifinals with 15 points from four matches and in the last match they will play against Jammu & Kashmir in their home ground from tomorrow. Goa is the third team in the group with nine points and are set to play Jharkhand from tomorrow.
On card Maharashtra is definitely the favourite as the team is studded with in-form batsmen like Ankit Bawne, Rohit Motwani, Nikhil Paradkar, wicket keeper batsman Harsad Khandiwale, Chirag Khurana, Kedar Jadhav and Sangram Atitkar who are consistently performing heavily in this season.
Their bowlers like Akshaya Darekar, Ajinkya Joshi, Dominic Joseph and Samad Fallah are in good form.
On the other hand, except in the match against bottom placed Jharkhand, Assam failed to hit form this season. Apart from Dhiraj Jadhav, who hit four centuries, only few batsmen like Gokul Sharma, Amit Sinha, Sib Sankar Roy and debutant Pallab Das have shown some touch. As far bowling is concerned, Abu Nechim Ahmed is the only bowler who has been able to maintain consistently with two five-wicket haul. The centre pitch of Nehru Stadium looks to be full of runs and batsmen need to show their patience to be among runs.
Teams (from) Maharashtra: Rohit Motwani (w/c, capt), Ajinkya Joshi, Akshaya Darekar, Ankit Bawne, Anupam Sanklesa, Chirag Khurana, Domnic Joseph, Harsad Khandiwale, Kaustav Patil, Kedar Jadhav, Nikhil Paradkar, Prayag Bhati, Samad Fallah, Sangram Atitkar, Srikant Mundhe.
Assam: Gokul Sharma (capt), Abu Nechim Ahmed, Kunal Saikia (w/k), Dhiraj Jadhav, Abhijit Sinha Roy, Dhiraj Goswami, Arup Das, Prasanta Sonowal, Tarjinder Singh, Sib Sankar Roy, Pritam Das, Pallab Das, Deepak Gohain, Amit Sinha.
Umpires: K Barathan (Rly), Bharti Vij (Punjab).
The match will start at 8.45 am.