Vijay Hazare Trophy: Delhi v Maharashtra set to be an exciting contest

Packed with dynamic batsmen and quality bowlers and all-rounder, Delhi and Maharashtra will set the pulses racing in the picturesque Dharamsala.

The picturesque HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala, where Delhi and Maharashtra will meet on Friday in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

Delhi and Maharashtra, arguably the best two sides in Group B of Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament, have given some dashing performances because of their depth and balance.

They have got the batsmen who can put up 300-plus totals. They have the bowlers who can make things happen even on placid tracks. And they have the all-rounders who chip in with valuable contributions.

With Delhi crossing the 300-run mark twice in two wins, there is little doubt about its batsmen.

Opener Unmukt Chand has returned to the scene with a bang, scoring a century and a half-century with a broken jaw, while his younger partner Hiten Dalal has shown his worth up the order.

Read: Chand leads Delhi to 55-run win over UP

Nitish Rana has struck form with a fine unbeaten 94 against Tripura. Hard-hitter Rishabh Pant has proved his class time and again.

Dhruv Shorey and Milind Kumar can shoulder responsibility in crisis, while all-rounders Pawan Negi and Manan Sharma can be handy finishers.

Delhi's attack, consisting of two left-arm seamers, possesses the bite. Since his comeback in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Pradeep Sangwan, who can also play some cameo knocks, has not gone wicketless in the last 10 matches (including eight T20 outings).

Nitin Saini is rated highly for his pace and discipline, while Kulwant Khejroliya thrives on his accuracy.

Ishant Sharma's availability for the fixture against Maharashtra at the HPCA Stadium here on Friday boosts Delhi.

Delhi's spin department rests on left-arm spinners Negi and Manan and off-spinner Lalit Yadav.

Maharashtra, which has relied on its team spirit to register two big victories, has a good opening pair in Ruturaj Gaikwad and Vijay Zol. The former looks for runs but values his wicket, while the latter loves to play his shots.

Captain Rahul Tripathi, a docile man off the field, is a destructive stroke player with the ability to control the innings. His unbeaten century against Bengal is the proof of his present form.

Read: Tripathi century guides Maharashtra past Bengal

The experienced Ankit Bawne, who scored a hundred against Uttar Pradesh, and Naushad Shaikh, who notched up timely 39 not out and 69 in two matches, have shrugged off their indifferent touch at the right time.

All-rounder Shrikant Mundhe provides the much-needed balance.

Pacers Anupam Sanklecha, Pradeep Dadhe along with gritty off-spinner Shamshuzama Kazi and left-arm spinner Satyajeet Bacchav give the attack a complete look.

The Delhi-Maharashtra duel, showcasing different brands of cricket, should be an engaging contest.

Group B matches on Friday:

At Dharamshala: Delhi vs Maharashtra
At Amtar: Himachal Pradesh vs Kerala
At Bilaspur: Uttar Pradesh vs Bengal