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TN face Rajasthan, Punjab vs Baroda in semis

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Ahmedabad, Jan 28 (IANS) With the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction up next month, quite a few players will look to showcase their performances when the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 semi-finals take place at the Motera Stadium on Friday.

Tamil Nadu will face Rajasthan in the first semi-final while Punjab will play Baroda in the second semi-final later in the day.

The likes of Vishnu Solanki (Baroda) and Shahrukh Khan (Tamil Nadu), who have not got any IPL contract, proved their power-hitting in the quarter-finals scoring quickfire knocks to help their teams win. Also on show will be Tamil Nadu’s N Jagadeesan and Punjab’s Prabhsimran Singh and a handful of others who have IPL contracts but did not get too many much of opportunities last season.

Rajasthan are missing leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who has been their top wicket-taker in the tournament, but has been called up to India nets in Chennai. Chahar missed the quarter-finals as well. In his absence, Rajasthan will bank on Ravi Bishnoi, Khaleel Ahmed and Aniket Choudhary to stop Tamil Nadu’s batting that has N Jagadeesan, Baba Aparajith and Shahrukh Khan.

In the second semi-final, Punjab’s bowling attack comprising seasoned campaigners Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh will pose a stiff challenge to Baroda batting.

Every time Baroda have batted first in the tournament, they have managed to put up a 150-plus run total.

However, while chasing they have often been stretched like in the last game against Haryana when they took the game to the last ball even though they had lost only two wickets.

Solanki managed to score 16 runs off the last three balls but Punjab may not provide as easy runs towards the end as Haryana did.




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