Ranchi, Feb 20: After 26 days and 30 games of the Hockey India League (HIL), the tournament enters its semifinal stage Saturday after four of the six teams qualified for the knock-outs.
The Jharkhand capital will see the first semifinal between the Delhi Waveriders and the Uttar Pradesh Wizards which will be followed by Jaypee Punjab Warriors against the defending champions Ranchi Rhinos.
Though the Waveriders missed out on the top slot in the points table, they will have their work cut out to beat the Wizards and qualify for the final. On the other hand, the Roelant Oltmans coached Wizards will still have last year’s semifinal against the Rhinos fresh in their minds; and this time around they will be in no mood to miss out on the bus to the finale.
The Warriors are pitted against the Rhinos which, for both teams, will be their third match in succession. While in the last two, the Warriors proved themselves as the better team but they will not forget that the Rhinos were playing with their key players missing out because of injuries.
With table-toppers Warriors wanting to continue their onslaught, the Rhinos will go all out to defend the title in front of their home crowd.