Title favourites Delhi Waveriders will have to shrug off the defeat in the league stage when they take on Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the semi-finals here on Saturday.
The Sardara Singh-led side had been the most dominant outfit in the tournament, staying unbeaten till the 12th and final round of the league stage. However, the law of averages finally caught up with the leaders as they were outplayed 1-4 by Uttar Pradesh Wizards at home last night and they have just one day to recover before tomorrow's semifinal at the Birsa Munda Stadium.
The Delhi players looked jaded in their last encounter and though Sardara attributed the loss to many frontline players not playing in that game, he would know the loss of momentum at such a crucial stage can prove suicidal.
The Warriors are also coming into the semi-final stage without a win in their last three matches but the Jamie Dwyer-led side will be a lot fresher as they played their last game on February 5.
Rhinos look to upstage wizards
A consistent Ranchi Rhinos would look to continue their dominant run when they face an unpredictable Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the second semi-final on Saturday. Apart from the two matches against Delhi Waveriders, which they lost, the hosts have been dominant in all their home games.
"Home ground and home crowd are our advantages. Players get great energy from the crowd. It's a must win game, and it would be challenging," Rhinos' coach Gregg Clark said.