Vijay Hazare Trophy: High-flying Karnataka faces Mumbai challenge

Karnataka is top of the combined Group A and B table, while Mumbai, has endured a stop-start campaign, with the weather proving to be an irritant.

Manish Pandey plays a shot during a nets session.   -  Sudhakara Jain

The Vijay Hazare Trophy's Elite Group A will witness its marquee clash when high-flying Karnataka takes on Mumbai at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.

Karnataka is top of the combined Group A and B table, with four wins out of five. Except for one off-colour performance against Hyderabad, Manish Pandey's men have been dominant, despite giving the feeling that they are yet to hit top gear.

The captain himself has been in fine form, accumulating 342 runs at an average of 85.5, with one hundred and three fifties. K.L. Rahul has also been among the runs, even if not as consistently as his skipper.

Shreyas Gopal shone in the win over Andhra earlier this week, while pace-bowlers Prasidh Krishna and Ronit More have been difficult to put away.

Mumbai, meanwhile, has endured a stop-start campaign, with the weather proving to be an irritant. Since the side arrived here in the city two and a half weeks ago, only three of its fixtures have produced a result.

The first of those, against Chhattisgarh, ended in a stunning defeat, with the central Indian side chasing down 318 to triumph.

Mumbai recovered, though, to defeat Saurashtra, and on Tuesday produced its best performance yet, thumping Goa by 130 runs.

Seventeen-year-old opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a maiden List-A hundred while other batsmen also tore into the bowling as Mumbai amassed a total of 362.

Stopping the likes of Aditya Tare, Shreyas Iyer, Siddhesh Lad, and the power-hitting duo of Suryakumar Yadav and Shivam Dube could prove to be a challenging task for Karnataka's bowlers. There are all the makings of an engrossing contest.