Ranji Trophy Round VII: Last chance to cement knockout spots

Scenarios ahead of the last round of Ranji Trophy fixtures.

Group C is wide open, with Andhra (19), Madhya Pradesh (15), Mumbai (14), Tamil Nadu (11) and Baroda (10) all in with a chance of progressing.   -  Prashant Nakwe

The seventh round of the Ranji Trophy, scheduled to begin on November 25, will be the last round of fixtures ahead of the knockouts. A look at the possibilities for teams in terms of their chances of occupying a knockout spot.

Group A: Karnataka (26 points) and Delhi (24) have already qualified. It’s only a question of who tops the group. Karnataka faces Railways, while Delhi meets Hyderabad.

Group B: Any two of Gujarat (27), Kerala (24) and Saurashtra (23) can qualify. Gujarat, unbeaten this season, will travel to Jharkhand, while Kerala clashes with Haryana which has won only once. If Gujarat and Kerala win their games, they will progress irrespective of Saurashtra’s performance against bottom-placed Team Rajasthan.

Saurashtra will hope the teams above it drop points and it betters its result. If teams are level on points, they will first be separated by the number of outright wins, where Gujarat (4) and Kerala (4) hold an advantage over Saurashtra (3).

Read: ‘Other teams getting stronger than Mumbai’

Group C: This group is wide open, with Andhra (19), Madhya Pradesh (15), Mumbai (14), Tamil Nadu (11) and Baroda (10) all in with a chance of progressing.

Andhra has played all six of its matches and will not be involved in this round of fixtures. MP meets Odisha at home, while Mumbai hosts Tripura. If these two contenders win their games, they will advance, dumping Andhra out.

Read: Nayar dropped for Mumbai’s must-win game against Tripura

Tamil Nadu and Baroda, who face each other, have an outside chance of qualification. One team has to win outright - something they have both failed to do this season - and then hope both MP and Mumbai stumble.

Group D: Vidarbha (28) is through, while all Bengal (20) needs to assure itself of a spot in the quarterfinals is three points against a hapless Goa. Punjab (15) will have to beat Services and hope Bengal loses, to be certain of qualification (If Punjab claims a bonus point, it will leapfrog Bengal even if the latter earns a point over Goa).

Himachal Pradesh (13) and Chhattisgarh (13) are mathematically in the running but such outcomes are highly improbable.