Delhi faces an uphill task

Principal Correspondent

PATIALA: Delhi face an uphill task of making it to the all-India finals as it takes on Haryana, in the third match of the North Zone One-Day league cricket championship here on Sunday.

Languishing at fifth place with two points from as many matches, Delhi needs to chalk out at least two wins from the remaining three engagements to have any real chance of making the grade.

Jammu and Kashmir is the unlikely leader at this stage with seven points, followed by Punjab on six, and Himachal and Haryana on four each.

Services, which gave away a bonus point to J and K in the Twenty20 match on Friday, is at the bottom with one point.

On paper, Delhi has a good batting lineup with Gautaum Gambhir and Aakash Chopra providing a solid opening option. The middle order also looks formidable but the way it caved in against Punjab on Friday in the wake of mounting run-rate, it will have to be on its guard against unpredictable Haryana, which is yet to play a full match in the tournament.

Haryana had its innings cut short in the 11th over against Punjab when rain spoiled the schedule and on Friday at Chandigarh. "We want to do well and make up for the failure in the Ranji Trophy championship,'' said Haryana captain, Joginder Sharma.

"Our bowling has been good this season but batting has not been a success, but we want to amend it in this tournament,'' he said.

At Mohali, Punjab will take on Services while Himachal, which made it to the Ranji Trophy Elite group, faces Jammu and Kashmir at Chandigarh.