Venue: Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi(Capacity – 5,000)
Date: 9th February, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM
Broadcasters: ESPN (English Commentary) and Star Cricket (Hindi Commentary)
The Delhi Waveriders take on the Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the second semi-finals of the night in Ranchi. The Waveriders were triumphant in all three previous fixtures between the two sides and will be heading into the match confident of making it four in a row. Delhi suffered their first defeat of the tournament when they went down meekly against UP in their last league match. The team’s abject and laid back display that night was worrying for the table toppers and coach AK Bansal will have to make sure that they are focused and ready for the all-important semifinal. Punjab on the other hand, will be hoping to end their hoodoo against the Waveriders. Termed as the favourites before the start, Punjab have failed to live up to the expectations and will be worried by the lack of goals their forward line has produced so far, despite being one of the strongest on paper. There aren’t any injury concerns for either team, with Delhi’s Taeke Taekema being the only long term absentee.
Player to watch out for :
Delhi Waveriders: Sardara Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh - With the beautiful and flawless hockey that Delhi have produced so far, it is safe to say that each player is a potential threat in their very own way. But given the impetus Sardara Singh provides to the team with his brilliance in the middle of the field, he is certainly the one who stands out. His blossoming partnership with Dutchman Tim Jenniskens is also a cause of concern for the Warriors.
Defender Rupinder has gone from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed and has produced a string of solid defensive displays and proved excellent with the penalty corners, netting in a total of six goals so far. German Oskar Deecke suddenly looks threatening along with South African Lloyd Norris Jones and when coupled with Mujtaba and Walmiki on the wings, it promises a mouth-watering clash in store for the viewers.
Jaypee Punjab Warriors: Jamie Dwyer and Jaap Stockmann - The Australian forward and the current best player in the world has failed to rise up to his standards and has been poor in front of the goal, often missing chances he would have otherwise put away in his sleep. Despite the failures, Dwyer has it in him to turn the tables and take Punjab to victory on his own and the Warriors will be hoping he pulls out such a performance in the middle tomorrow.
Goalkeeper JaapStockman, regarded by many as the best in between the sticks in the world has been one of the few consistent performers and has provided much needed safety at the back along with his Indian counterpart Bharat Chetri. Young Dharamvir Singh is always a threat in the box and his movements will have to be carefully studied by the Waveriders.
Form Guide :
Delhi : DWWWL
Punjab : LWDLL
Delhi - AK Bansal(India)
Punjab - Barry Dancer(Australia)
Match Predictions : UP showed in their last match against Delhi that they are beatable. Still, Punjab will have to play at their very best if they are to come anywhere near to toppling Delhi. I still think that Delhi will make it through and will reach the finals with a 4-2 scoreline in their favour.