Ranchi: Title favourites Delhi Waveriders will have to quickly regroup themselves after their league match defeat and look to book a summit clash berth when they take on Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the first semi-final of the Hockey India League here on Saturday.
The Sardara Singh-led side had been the most dominant outfit in the tournament, going 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 and rejuvenate before tomorrow's semifinal at the Birsa Munda Astroturf Stadium.
The Delhi players looked jaded in their last encounter and though Sardara played down the loss as an aberration which happened because the team rested most of their star players, he would also know that the loss of momentum at such a crucial stage can be suicidal for the team.
They can, however, find solace from the fact that they would be facing a team they had thoroughly dominated in the league stage.
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 having got a longer rest since their last league game on February 5.
During this period, team coach Barry Dancer would have definitely tried to find a solution to the team's goal-scoring woes that have seen them lose matches in which they held better possession and even penetrated the opposition's striking circle regularly.


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