Vijay Hazare Trophy | It’s Southern Derby time again

A Southern Derby featuring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is always one of the most keenly-awaited clashes on the domestic calendar irrespective of the format.

In white-ball cricket, the two have met quite a few times, including three finals, in the last two years.

Last-ball-six victory

In the 2019-20 season, Karnataka beat TN in the finals of both the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. However, earlier last month, TN pulled off a sensational win with a last-ball six from M. Shahrukh Khan and clinched its second T20 title in as many years.

The two sides will clash once again, this time in the quarterfinals of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, here on Tuesday.

When the two met in the group stages in Thiruvananthapuram earlier this month, TN coasted to an eight-wicket win after spinning out Karnataka for just 122.

However, the conditions here are diametrically opposite.

While TN reached the last eight directly, Karnataka had to beat Rajasthan in the pre-quarters, which it did comprehensively on Sunday. In a way, the game time at the K.L. Saini Stadium — where the two teams will clash on Tuesday — will give Karnataka the edge in terms of knowledge of conditions.

The one change for TN will be the return of B. Aparajith, who missed the league stages due to India-A duties. He has a solid technique and will have to play a vital role as opener to see off the new ball against the likes V. Vyshak and Prasidh Krishna.

Onus on bowlers

TN lost its last two matches in the league stage and the team will be hoping to get back on track on Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of the match, TN coach M. Venkatramana said, “an area we need to improve is consistency in bowling. Similarly, one batsman needs to play a long innings and score a hundred so that others can bat around him.”

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