It will be a tantalising battle when defending champions Rizvi Springfield (Bandra) take on IES VN Sule Guruji (Dadar) in the four-day final of the 115th Harris Shield inter-school cricket tournament that gets underway at the Cricket Club of India today.
Rizvi Springfield players sharpen their catching skills yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
The Bandra school will certainly have an edge over their Dadar rivals with record-breaking duo of Sarfaraz Khan (who broke Sachin's inter-school record and hit 439 runs) and Aarman Jaffer (who created a new Harris record by smashing 498 in 2010) likely to figure in the playing XI. But if the Dadar team gets the services of their all-rounders Omprakash Jaiswal and Omkar Jadhav -- who were playing for state U-16 side along with Aarman and Sarfaraz -- then it would be an interesting contest.
Having played each other four times (each winning twice), it promises to be another close contest. Rizvi look to clinch their ninth Harris Shield title while Sule Guruji hope to upset the Rizvi juggernaut.
Rizvi coach Raju Pathak is aware that they cannot take the Dadar outfit lightly, but is confident that his boys will do well and have the potential to clinch the title for the fourth time in a row. "We are the defending champions even they have won quite a few times. It's always been a close contest between us, but we will try our best to win the title for fourth time," Pathak told MiD DAY.
Meanwhile, Sule Guriji coach Gopal Koli said: "We have reached the final without three of our main players, Jaiswal, Jadhav and Saurabh Tendulkar. We do not have any strategy for Rizvi as yet, but will decide tomorrow when the teams are announced. My boys have fighting spirit and I'm confident they will do a good job."