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3:11 pm - Saturday November 24, 5736

Ranchi gears up for HIL knock-outs

SPO1

Agencies, Ranchi

The eastern city of Ranchi is all geared up to host the knock-out matches of the ongoing Hockey India League (HIL) at the Astro Turf hockey stadium here tomorrow. The top four teams from the league stage have made their way into the semi-finals after a hard fought battle in the group stage are defending champions Ranchi Rays (37 points), Jaypee Punjab Warriors (29 points), Delhi Waveriders (27 points) and Kalinga Lancers (25 points).

The first semi-final clash between 2014 Champions Delhi Waveriders and two time finalists Jaypee Punjab Warriors will be played from 1500 IST while hosts Ranchi Rays will go head to head with the first time semi-finalists Kalinga Lancers in the second game from 1730 IST. Going into tomorrow’s marque clashes, the Rays have shown phenomenal strength and performance in this league so far, winning seven matches and losing just three.

With 37 points and sitting atop the HIL points tally, Ranchi have remained unbeaten on home turf so far and will look forward to extend their winning run. “We are taking one match at a time and our focus for now is on the Semi-Finals. We have played well so far and we intend to continue playing the same way and not complicate things.

This is the final phase of the tournament and irrespective of who the opponent is, the team with strong nerves and higher conversion will make it to the Final on Sunday 21st February 2016,” said Ranchi coach Harendra Singh. Kalinga are the only other team apart from Ranchi Rays who have seen ups and down at regular intervals in the tournament so far. The Lancers this year have played some spectacular hockey enroute to the Semi-Finals with four wins, one draw and five losses this season.

The Lancers, who have been relatively weak in penalty corner conversions have however the distinction of scoring the highest number of field goals (17) in the tournament so far. A lot will however ride on the scoring capacity of their star forward Glenn Turner, who has scored 15 goals so far the highest by any player this season of the cash-rich league.

Posted in: Sports

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