The Elite D Group match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 will be played between Gujarat and Kerala at the Air Force Complex ground in Palam, New Delhi on Thursday. The match is scheduled to start at 12:00 PM IST.
Kerala's journey in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament ended in heartbreak at Wankhede Stadium last year. A win would have propelled the team to the knockout stage, but they were defeated by Haryana by four runs in the decisive Group-E match in their pursuit of 199.
Team Gujarat are one of the most dominant teams to have competed in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Gujarat failed to qualify for the semi-finals last year and will be hoping to do even better this year.
For Kerala, Sanju Samson's expertise as a top-order hitter who can keep wickets certainly requires a boost. His opening partner, Sachin Baby, also shone during Kerala's innings as the fearless, young outfit climbed to the top of Elite Group E's points standings, alongside Haryana. Samson's 338-run partnership with Kerala skipper Sachin Baby in the match was the highest in List-A cricket for Indian cricket and the third-best in the format.
Mohammed Azharuddeen is the top run-scorer for Kerala overall and also smashed the second-fastest century in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in a group fixture against Mumbai. It was the first hundred by a Kerala batter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and sealed their highest-ever chase in the tournament as they beat Mumbai for the first time in any format.
For Gujarat, Piyush Chawla led with the ball, picking up five wickets in six matches with an average of 21.60, finishing as the highest wicket-taker for his side last season. Ripal Patel and Dhruv Raval were the standout performers for Gujarat with the bat. They scored 145 runs and 114 in five games at a hefty average of 36.25 and 28.50 respectively.
Gujarat v Kerala match details
Match: Round I - Elite Group D, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
Date and time: 04 November 2021, 12:00 IST
Venue: Air Force Complex Ground, Palam, New Delhi
Gujarat v Kerala probable XI
Gujarat squad: Piyush Chawla (C), Siddharth Desai, Chintan Gaja, Chirag Gandhi, Roosh Kalaria, Umang Kumar, Priyank Panchal, Jayveer Parmar, Het Patel, Hardik Patel, Ripal Patel
Kerala squad: Sanju Samson (C), Sachin Baby, Jalaj Saxena, Robin Uthappa, Vishnu Vinod, Salman Nizar, Basil Thampi, S Sreesanth, Nidheesh MD, Asif KM, Mohammed Azharudden
Gujarat v Kerala pitch report
The outfield at the Air Force Complex ground in Palam has aided both batters and bowlers. The spinners will come into play as the match progresses. Both teams will want to bat first, although the pitch shouldn’t change much during the game. Anything above 250 can be expected to be a good total on this pitch.
Gujarat v Kerala weather forecast
The temperature in New Delhi is expected to range between 23 and 42 degrees Celsius with 26% humidity. Thunderstorms with light to moderate intensity rain and gusty winds with speeds of 30-60 km/h are expected.
Gujarat v Kerala match prediction
Kerala will probably win the tournament against Gujarat in Delhi. Kerala's side have plenty of experience, whereas Gujarat had to play out of their skin to challenge the defending champions.
Q. Sanju Samson and Sachin Baby to stitch a 60+ run partnership?