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   Vijay Hazare Trophy: Red-hot Delhi take on Himachal Pradesh

Vijay Hazare Trophy: Red-hot Delhi take on Himachal Pradesh

Published : Dec 26, 2015, 5:57 am IST
Updated : Dec 26, 2015, 5:57 am IST

Given their star-studded line-up and current form, Gautam Gambhir’s Delhi are red-hot favourites against surprise entrants Himachal Pradesh in their Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final clash to be played h

Delhi batsman Shikhar Dhawan at a training session in Bengaluru on Friday. 	— SHASHIDHAR B.
 Delhi batsman Shikhar Dhawan at a training session in Bengaluru on Friday. — SHASHIDHAR B.

Given their star-studded line-up and current form, Gautam Gambhir’s Delhi are red-hot favourites against surprise entrants Himachal Pradesh in their Vijay Hazare Trophy semi-final clash to be played here, on Saturday.

Gambhir’s men stormed into the semifinals after a lop-sided win over Jharkhand that witnessed a valiant unbeaten 70 from M.S. Dhoni. With such dominant form especially in their bowling department, Delhi will look forward to keep the momentum going against Bipul Sharma’s side.

 

“Our team combination has been great. The youngsters have performed well and now with the presence of the senior players, the team has become stronger,” said Delhi all-rounder Pawan Negi.

With the experienced Ishant Sharma spearheading the attack, Delhi have young blood in pacers Navdeep Saini and Suboth Bhati.

The only matter of concern is their inconsistent batting. The top three have failed by not converting their starts and Delhi will heavily bank on Shikhar Dhawan, Unmukt Chand and Gambhir to fire.

Meanwhile, Himachal, owing to their batting heroics, made the last four after chasing down a challenging total against Punjab in the quarterfinals.

 

With in-form Robin Bisht’s unbeaten ton setting up a five-wicket victory, the HP batting line-up is in pink of health. And all through the limited overs campaign, all-rounder Rishi Dhawan has been instrumental. The 25-year-old hopes to carry on the fine run.

“There are special plans against Delhi. They are a strong side. We have to stick to our potential and play well. We will try and keep the game in our control,” he said.

Balaji, Ashwin hold key for Tamil Nadu At the Alur grounds, the R. Ashwin-skippered TN will lock horns with Gujarat in the other semi-final. After five long seasons, Tamil Nadu have made the last-four, courtesy a nervy one-wicket victory over Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. In the other last-eight game, Parthiv Patel led from the front with a fifty as Gujarat reached home with two wickets to spare against Vidarbha. Both the encounters were low-scoring affairs with the bowlers dominating the show. On a surface that is likely to assist the bowlers, pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji and tweaker Ashwin hold the key for TN. “Overall, we have played very good cricket. The thing is that they are all charged up. There is a lot of self belief and confidence. Not looking at anything less than winning the trophy. We have been in tough situations. The last match has shown that we can fight it out. Be it eight-down or nine-down,” said TN coach M. Sanjay.

 

Location: India, Karnataka, Bengaluru