Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 quarterfinal: Rajasthan starts as clear favourite against Bihar

SMAT T20 2021: It will be particularly interesting to watch how Bihar's batsmen negotiate the Rajasthan's strong bowling attack.

Motera Stadium

The revamped Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad is hosting the SMAT quarterfinals.   -  TWITTER|@hemangkbadani

Bihar has had a dream run in the ongoing edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. It won all its five matches to top the Plate group and secure a quarterfinal birth.

On Wednesday night at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, it will find out the difference between the Plate and the Elite when it takes on Rajasthan, which finished first in Group-D, winning four of its five matches.

It will be particularly interesting to watch how Bihar's batsmen negotiate the rival's strong bowling attack.

Leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi and left-arm seamers  Khaleel Ahmed and Aniket Choudhary could trouble the Bihar batsmen.

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To say that Bihar hasn't come across a bowling line-up like that in the league phase would be no exaggeration. The fact that none of their batsmen has been able to accumulate even 150 runs from their five matches does not inspire too much confidence.

Bihar's most successful batsman in the tournament is Shasheem Rathour, who hit 60 not out against Manipur and played knocks of 38 and 33 against Meghalaya and Sikkim respectively. He wouldn't mind more runs from his teammates like Mangal Mahrour, Babul Kumar and Sakibul Gani.

Not that Rajasthan's batsmen have set the tournament on fire. Only one of them has been able to post more than a total of 150 runs. Ankit Lamba, with 160 runs, however is nowhere near the top of the batting chart, led by Punjab's Prabhsimran Singh (326) and Tamil Nadu's N. Jagadeesan (322).

Rajasthan's batting still looks good on paper, featuring the likes of skipper Ashok Menaria, Rajesh Bishnoi and Mahipal Lomror. The side, however, may not find it too easy against a Bihar attack that is spearheaded by veteran left-arm spinner Ashutosh Aman, who is in fact leading the tournament's bowling chart with 14 wickets. Teenaged medium-pacer Amod Yadav has also impressed, having taken four for 17 against Manipur in Bihar's last match.

Rajasthan starts as the clear favourite in the last of the quarterfinals.