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Ranji Trophy: Delhi Aim to Maintain Winning Streak Against Hyderabad

PTI | Updated: November 24, 2017, 5:01 PM IST
Ranji Trophy: Delhi Aim to Maintain Winning Streak Against Hyderabad

Rishabh Pant. (Image credit: PTI)

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Hyderabad: Already assured of a place in the quarterfinals, a confident Delhi would look for an outright win over Hyderabad in their last Ranji Trophy Group A match on Saturday, in their bid to ensure an easy opponent in the knock-out stage of the premier domestic tournament.

With 24 points from five games with three wins and two draws, an unbeaten Delhi are currently placed second in Group A behind leaders - former champions Karnataka - who too have secured their last eight berth with 26 points from as many matches.

And for both Delhi and Karnataka, the outcome of their last round games are important in deciding their quarterfinal opponents.

Explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who struck 99 in Delhi's last match, would be eager to carry on his good show after returning to form off late.

Another Delhi batsman who would be looking to carry on from where he left in the last match is left-handed batsman Nitish Rana, scoring 174 against Maharashtra.

Both Pant and Rana played a vital role in handing Delhi a massive victory of an innings and 64 runs over Maharashtra. But Delhi would miss the services of their in-form skipper Ishant Sharma in the final group match as he is currently representing India in the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur.

Ishant has been in good form for Delhi, picking up 20 wickets from four Ranji games this season so far that includes a five-wicket haul in the win against Maharashtra. In Ishant's absence, paceman Navdeep Saini and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Vikas Misra, both of whom impressed in the last match, will have to shoulder the responsibility of Delhi's attack.

On the other hand, the match hardly has any significance for Hyderabad as they are already out of the tournament, garnering just 15 points from five games.

The hosts will lack motivation going into the match and it remains to be seen how the likes of skipper Ambati Rayudu fare against Delhi after witnessing a mixed bag season with the bat.

Hyderabad, though, will be eager to continue their winning run and end their campaign on a high with an upset win over Delhi, who will be led by young Pant in Ishant's absence.

Meanwhile, in another inconsequential match of Group A, Assam will play Maharashtra in Pune.
First Published: November 24, 2017, 5:01 PM IST
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