Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 knockouts: All you need to know

The table-toppers of the five Elite Groups – Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Saurashtra, Kerala and Services - secured their quarterfinals berths.

Venkatesh Iyer

FILE PHOTO: Madhya Pradesh's Venkatesh Iyer has been in devastating touch with the bat.   -  The Hindu

The Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 is all set for the knockout stages after the league phase came to an end on Tuesday. The preliminary quarterfinals, to be held on Sunday, will be followed by the quarterfinals on December 21 and 22. The semifinals will take place on December 24 before the summit clash on December 26.

The table-toppers of the five Elite Groups – Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Saurashtra, Kerala and Services - secured their quarterfinals berths. The second-placed teams from the Elite Division – Vidarbha, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan - and Plate Group winner Tripura will vie for the three remaining quarterfinal spots in the preliminary quarters.

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021-22 Knockout Stages Schedule

 FixtureDateTimeVenue
Preliminary quarterfinal 1Vidarbha vs TripuraDecember 199:00 AMJaipur
Preliminary quarterfinal 2Karnataka vs RajasthanDecember 199:00 AMJaipur
Preliminary quarterfinal 3Uttar Pradesh vs Madhya PradeshDecember 199:00 AMJaipur
Quarterfinal 1Himachal Pradesh vs TBDDecember 219:00 AMJaipur
Quarterfinal 2Tamil Nadu vs TBDDecember 219:00 AMJaipur
Quarterfinal 3Saurashtra vs TBDDecember 229:00 AMJaipur
Quarterfinal 4Kerala vs ServicesDecember 229:00 AMJaipur
Semifinal 1TBD vs TBDDecember 249:00 AMJaipur
Semifinal 2TBD vs TBDDecember 249:00 AMJaipur
FinalTBD vs TBDDecember 269:00 AMJaipur

The marquee 50-over domestic tournament had its fair share of upsets this year as defending champion Mumbai’s horror campaign (one win from five games) came to an end with an 18-run defeat to minnow Pondicherry. Heavyweight Delhi bowed out of the competition with just two wins from its five matches following a four-wicket loss against Saurashtra as star India batter Shikhar Dhawan failed to make a mark and strengthen his case for a return to the national side.

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka pipped Bengal and Pondicherry to the knockouts owing to a superior Net Run Rate despite suffering heavy losses in their final league matches. In Elite Group D, Madhya Pradesh edged out Maharashtra in the qualification race to cut short Ruturaj Gaikwad’s dream run which included four centuries in five matches. Saurashtra and Tripura were the only two sides to move to the knockouts undefeated.

Stars in focus

All eyes will be on Madhya Pradesh’s Venkatesh Iyer as he tries to make a case for an ODI call-up ahead of India’s tour of South Africa. The left-hander is the fourth-highest run-scorer in the tournament so far with 349 runs in five matches, including two centuries. Karnataka will rely on the services of its skipper Manish Pandey whose decent run has seen him score 218 runs at an average of 54.50. As Kerala takes on Services in the only confirmed quarterfinal matchup ahead of the pre-quarters, Sanju Samson will hope to bounce back after a disappointing outing thus far.

Leading run-scorers (league phase)

BatterTeamRunsAverageStrike RateBest100s50s
Ruturaj GaikwadMaharashtra603150.75112.9216840
Manan VohraChandigarh37975.8094.7514122
KS BharatAndhra37092.50108.18161*20

Amongst the bowlers, Tamil Nadu’s Washington Sundar has marked his return from injury with 12 wickets from five matches including a fifer against Pondicherry. However, Madhya Pradesh’s Avesh Khan, who was included in India’s T20I squad against New Zealand in November, will have to pull his socks up and improve on his return of five wickets in five matches at 5.77 runs an over.

Leading wicket-taker (league phase)

BowlerTeamWicketsEconomyAverageStrike RateBest5W
Yuzvendra ChahalHaryana144.3515.0020.63/420
Yash ThakurVidarbha146.1520.4219.95/531
Aniket ChoudharyRajasthan133.6712.0719.63/200
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