Match Preview: UP Wizards v/s Delhi WaveRiders
Venue: Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow (Capacity- 10,000)
Date: 3rd February
Time: 1500 Hours
Broadcast: ESPN (English Commentary) and Star Cricket (Hindi Commentary)
The high flying Delhi WaveRiders will play their second match on the road when they take on the UP Wizards in Lucknow on Sunday. The WaveRiders are, without doubt, the team to beat and have been demolishing teams with utmost ease throughout the tournament. UP, though, are the only ones who have escaped their clutches, having drawn their first encounter in Lucknow 2-2. Both teams came into that match on the back of solid starts, but Delhi took their game to an altogether different level after that and UP have been suffering ever since, having lost four games on the trot after boasting arguably the best defensive line-up on paper. The worst of them was the recent 4-0 humbling they recently received at the hands of the struggling Mumbai Magicians. The home support for the Wizards has been fantastic so far and the home fans will be hoping that the team begins the new month on a positive note.
Players to watch out for:
VR Raghunath (UP): The captain and top goal-scorer of the team, Raghunath will have his task cut out against the ever attacking Delhi forward line. Raghunath has been effective with the penalty corners, scoring a total of five goals so far and the Wizards will be hoping that he continues to flourish and remain effective against Delhi. UP boast a great defensive back-line which includes Raghunath, Australian Luke Doerner and Dutch Wouter Jolie, but have conceded a whopping fourteen goals in their last four matches. Midfield maestro Teun De Noijer will be hoping to get back to form along with the talented David Alegre of Spain.
Gurvinder Singh Chandi (Delhi): The Delhi forward was in blistering form in their previous match against the Rhinos in Ranchi and scored one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament so far. Quick and hard-working, Chandi is an intelligent forward UP will have to be wary of, because of his tendency to get behind defences and find space for himself in dangerous positions. The combination of Walmiki and Mujtaba on the wings and Jenniskens and Sardara in the midfield, make Delhi very hard to keep quiet during the match. Goal-keeper Nicholas Jacobi has also put in a string of stellar performances and so far has been the pick of the lot among all his contemporaries.
Form Guide(Last five matches):
Delhi: AK Bansal(India)
UP: Roelant Oltmans(Netherlands)
Score Prediction: The form that the Wizards currently find themselves in makes Delhi the last team they would want to face at the moment. The inexperience up-front has cost UP so far and I don’t see that changing. It should be a routine win for the WaverRiders. I go for a 4-2 scoreline in favour of Delhi.