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IPL: Out of playoff race, Gujarat Lions-Delhi Daredevils seek consolation win

After being knocked out of the playoff race, Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils will look to salvage pride when they clash in an IPL 2017 match at Kanpur.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 10, 2017 01:24 IST
Sharad Deep
Sharad Deep
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
IPL 2017,Gujarat Lions vs Delhi Daredevils,Suresh Raina
Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson’s 143-run stand guided Delhi Daredevils to a 7-wicket win over Gujarat Lions in an IPL 2017 clash at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. (BCCI )

It was a different ball game last season when Gujarat Lions played their last two league matches of the Indian Premier League at the Green Park stadium. The team had already qualified for the play-offs and the matches here were a mere formality before going into the knockout round.

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But things are different this time as the Suresh Raina-led team is not only out of contention this season, but will also go out of cash-rich league next year. The Gujarat–based franchise was there for only two years.

“It makes no difference to us. We are not thinking about what has happened. We are aiming for a repeat of last season when we won both our final league matches here,” Gujarat Lions’ seamer Pradeep Sangwan told HT on Tuesday.

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Neither Gujarat Lions, nor Delhi Daredevils have a chance to make it to play-offs and with the Champions Trophy squad already announced, the only thing at stake will be players’ future in IPL.

“Every individual’s performance would make a big difference (to his market value) in the next edition of IPL,” he added. The players will be out in the open market as their teams won’t participate next season and two suspended teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, will return.

Fans too haven’t showed much enthusiasm. “Plenty of tickets of the match are still available,” said one of the officials.

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A high-scoring game between the two sides kept fans entertained at Ferozeshah Kotla last week, when Delhi Daredevils scored a convincing seven-wicket win. Leading from the front, captain Suresh Raina has already set an example in ‘fatafat’ cricket. This being his home venue in first-class cricket, there are expectations from local fans.

With injuries plaguing the home team, Raina will have to lead from the front. Ravindra Jadeja and young Ishan Kishan will also have to chip in. Bowling has been a concern with even Aussie import James Faulkner failing to impress throughout the season.

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There is a possibility of batsman Chirag Suri becoming the first player from UAE to play IPL as Brendon McCullum has joined the list of injured players.

For Delhi Daredevils, all eyes would be on Sanju Samson and Rishabh Pant, who smashed the toothless Gujarat Lions in the last game, hitting sparkling half centuries to help the team get past Lions’ massive 209-run target.

Daredevils too will be depleted as South Africans Kagiso Rabada, who impressed in the previous face-off, and Chris Morris, have returned to national duty.

First Published: May 09, 2017 19:59 IST