It will be a battle of equals when UP and Baroda clash in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament at the Wankhede stadium today.
The two teams had entered the title round by topping their respective groups A and B in similar fashion, by virtue of finishing with the best net run rate in their pools after finishing level on points with another team.
While UP edged out Goa in Rajkot, Baroda stuttered against Kerala in the final game and went through on superior NRR. Both Uttar Pradesh and Baroda appear to be evenly matched, having won all their zonal ties to make it to the knockout stage.
Baroda could enjoy a slight advantage, having played in these conditions in their zonal leg as well as the knock-out stages. Baroda's seven-match winning streak in the tournament was snapped by Kerala and they would be hoping that the loss was just an aberration.
Relying on bowlers
The West Zone champions have relied mostly on the bowlers to secure wins in the tournament. Left-arm medium pacer Lukman Meriwala is the leading wicket taker in the tournament, with 18 scalps, including a five-for against Delhi.