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Ranji Trophy: Maharashtra, Mumbai lock horns for semi final birth

Mumbai: A keen tussle will be seen when group toppers Maharashtra takes on defending champions Mumbai, who barely made it to the knock-out stage, in the five-day quater-final of the Ranji Trophy here at the
PTI January 07, 2014 14:42 IST
PTI
Mumbai: A keen tussle will be seen when group toppers Maharashtra takes on defending champions Mumbai, who barely made it to the knock-out stage, in the five-day quater-final of the Ranji Trophy here at the Wankhede Stadiumin in Mumbai on Wednesday.
     



While Maharashtra advanced to the elimination round by finishing on top of Group C, 40-time champions Mumbai staged a grand comeback from the brink in Group A after conceding a 99-run first innings lead to Gujarat in their final league game before winning outright to qualify for the quarter-final.
     
All these facts would be confined to the dustbin when the two arch-rivals meet in what is considered to be the Maharashtra state version of the well-known 'War of Roses' between Lancashire and Yorkshire in English county cricket.
     
Though the visitors from across the Sahyadri ranges topped their group that consisted of the championship's weakest teams, they would find Mumbai - bolstered by the return of veteran pacer Zaheer Khan and all-rounder Abhishek Nayar - a tough nut to crack in the latter's backyard.
     
Zaheer, who will lead the hosts, is available for this game after missing a few earlier when he was with the Indian team in South Africa and his mere presence would lift the Mumbai bowling attack on a track that generally has bounce and assists pacers for the first couple of days.