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Rohtak: Nov 30, 2012
Starting as overwhelming favourites, Delhi would look for an outright win against a struggling Haryana to provide a much-needed boost to the their topsy-turvy campaign in the Ranji Trophy tournament as the two sides prepare for a Group B match, at Rohtak on Sunday.
With one win, one loss and two draws under their belt, Delhi are presently lying third position with 11 points, and a win in their next match would definitely strengthen their position in Group B.
Having lost their first match against Uttar Pradesh with a full-strength side, a relatively younger outfit led by Shikhar Dhawan made amends against minnows Odisha by pocketing seven points.
However, Delhi pocketed a point from their next match against Baroda before earning three points against Tamil Nadu by virtue of first innings lead.
After a relatively slow start, Delhi’s batting line-up has started to produce results.
In the absence of big guns such as Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli, Delhi’s batting unit has blossomed with four of its batsmen Dhwan, Unmukt Chand, Mohit Sharma and Vaibhav Rawal — registering centuries in their last outing against Tamil Nadu.
However, what remains a matter of grave concern for coach Vijay Dahiya is their listless bowling display.
Inspite of enforcing follow-on on Tamil Nadu, Delhi bowlers failed to bowl out the southern side in their second innings, thereby letting off a great opportunity to register an outright victory in the elite domestic tournament.
Pacer Parwinder Awana remains the lone consistent performer for Delhi with young left-arm pacer Pawan Suyal coming good in the first innings of the last match.
But Delhi has been let down in a big way by the performance of its spinners.
Delhi coach Dahiya, however, remains an optimistic person and feels his side has “80 to 90 per cent chance” of qualifying for the quarterfinal stage of the tournament.
“Odisha’s victory against Karnataka and Baroda’s win over Haryana have thrown open Group B. Delhi have 11 points from four matches and third on the table, while Uttar Pradesh are fourth with 10 points but they have played a game less (three). So we have 80 to 90 percent chance of qualifying for the knock-out stage. The race is still wide open,” Dahiya had said.
“We will look to secure a win in Lahli (Rohtak) as it has the reputation of producing results.”
Delhi captain Dhawan added, “Lahli wicket has always produced results so we will look for an outright victory.”
Haryana, on the other hand, are languishing at the bottom of Group B with three defeats from as many games.
But come Saturday, the Amit Mishra-led side would be banking on home advantage to turn the script and secure their first win in the tournament.
While their bowling department has lived upto the expectations so far in the tournament, it is Haryana’s inconsistent batting display which has hurt the team badly.
But with nothing to lose, Haryana would be desperate to turn the tables around and give Delhi a run for their money.
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