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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Must-win situation for Assam

Ranji trophy

Guwahati, Dec. 28: Assam will lock horns with hosts Goa in their last four-day Ranji Trophy group C league match at the Goa Cricket Association ground, Porvorim, in Panaji from tomorrow.

While the hosts will hardly have anything to lose, it will be a must-win situation for Assam to qualify for the knockouts. The visitors will not only look for a win but also a bonus point to be in contention for the quarter-finals berth.

Assam are third in the tally with 20 points from seven matches and Goa are on 13 points to be placed eighth in a table of nine.

Services are in the lead with 26 points, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 21 from seven matches each. Services will be playing Jharkhand at Delhi and Andhra meet Kerala at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh in the last round from tomorrow.

It will, however, be no cakewalk for the visitors as Goa have so far been a strong side in the ground concerned where they even held strong opponents Services to a draw.

The Goans have tallied three points each from their matches against Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.

After having tallied three points by virtue of first innings lead against Himachal Pradesh their last home match at the same ground, the Goans will be high on morale with skipper Shadab Jakati, wicketkeeper-batsman Manvinder Bisla and Ravikant Shukla in form along with Reagan Pinto and the seasoned Swapnil Asnodkar.

Sources in the Assam team told The Telegraph that the wicket is invariably a batting track, which is apparent keeping in view the strong batting line-up of the hosts.

Assam, too, will be on a high after having earned three points by virtue of first innings lead against Andhra Pradesh here early this week.

Though late in the season, the Assam batsmen have started to click since the last two matches and a repeat of their performance by openers Pallav Das, Sibsankar Roy and middle order batsman Tarjinder Singh could help the side go for the kill.