Haryana frustated that run-rate could decide the game
Despite putting up a big first innings score, Haryana's ambition of making the semi-finals is in danger of being thwarted by the fog that has marred their quarter-final against Tamil Nadu in Rohtak. A net run-rate rule will come into play on the final day tomorrow. According to the rule, if a minimum of thirty overs are bowled in TN's first innings, the team that has the higher net run-rate in this game will go through to the semi-finals. If, however, the fog does not allow even that many overs to be completed, the net run-rate from the league stage will apply.
Haryana declared their first innings on the overnight score of 379 for 6 today in a bid to get in some overs, and had TN on 72 for 2 in the 24 overs that were possible today. TN, who are currently going at three runs an over need to score above 3.26 runs per over, which is the rate Haryana managed in their innings. But the rule goes against Haryana in that they maintained that rate over 116 overs, while TN will go ahead even if they can marginally better that rate in 30 overs. "We have played so consistently over so many overs. It's easier to score say, 120 in 30 overs but far more difficult to make 400 in 100," Ashwini Kumar, the Haryana coach, told ESPNcricinfo. "It rankles somewhere that it had to come down to this rule. There should be some rule like Duckworth-Lewis or any other rule that is acceptable to both teams." Haryana have had two outright wins in six games in the league stage compared to TN's one win in seven games. Both teams had 17 points each.
Ashwini said there was a thick blanket of fog over Rohtak today evening, and they were hoping to have some clear weather tomorrow. "First of all, we have to bowl the remaining six overs (to make it 30 for the innings). It's really tough to decide on the strategy right now. We'll take it tomorrow as it comes."
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo