New Delhi based freelance journalist and hockey lover K. Arumugam is the founder editor
A science graduate from the Presidency College (Chennai) and a post-graduate from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay) in Geology and Hydrology, Arumugam has been professionally a water expert. He has taken volunteer retirement from a lucrative government job and is devoting full time for hockey.
WSH proves a winner * By T.N. Raghu
The success of the inaugural World Series Hockey tournament is a shot in the arm for the sport in India and a slap on the face of Hockey India administrators who tried to scuttle the eight-team league.
Even neutral observers and hockey lovers had their doubts because the WSH faced many hurdles. The timing of the event was instrumental to its success. Hockey was in the news for all the right reasons after India qualified for the Olympics on February 26.
Indian cricket team’s dire performance in Australia aided hockey because the fans and the media needed some feel-good story to talk about.
Hockey India dangled the carrot of Olympic participation to current Indian players to prevent them from taking part in the WSH. The HI honchos might have thought the cash rich league wouldn’t take off without the likes of Sandeep Singh, Sardar Singh and Shivendra Singh. But their calculations went awry as the WSH went ahead without Singhs.
The Premier Hockey League — conceived by the IHF and ESPN in 2005 — was conducted in one or two centres and the teams were owned by the organisers. But the franchise-based WSH bandwagon moved around on the home and away basis, thus creating a logistics nightmare. Setting up broadcast centres at eight venues was another headache the WSH had to grapple with. These issues are taken for granted in cricket in India, but not in hockey.
Matches — two per day — were telecast with a touch of class and professionalism. The late evening schedule helped the fans to tune in after school, college and office hours. According to the TV rating released by the WSH, the event captured more eye balls than the English Premier League consistently, which is not a mean record. If the statistics are true, hockey’s hopes of filling in the non-cricket void on TV aren’t misplaced.
The crowd support in Chennai, Pune, Bengaluru, Bhopal and Mumbai was excellent while it was lukewarm in the northern centres. Overall, the number wasn’t bad for a hockey tournament. The atmosphere for the final between Sher-E-Punjab and Pune Styrkers was electric and the turnout impressive.
The progress of Pune to the final is the story of the tournament. The Styrkers, who didn’t have big foreign and Indian names in their roster, rose from the ashes twice to set up a date with Punjab. When everything seemed lost against Chandi-garh Comets in the semifinals, Pune staged a stunning a recovery from 1-4 down to force a shootout. The emergence of youngsters such as Gurpreet Singh, Lalit Upadhyaya, Sim-randeep Singh, Vikramjeet Singh and B. Laxman Karan is a legacy the WSH would cherish.
The cash prizes awarded were unprecedented in world hockey. Gurjinder Singh, Chandigarh’s PC specialist, scooped the MVP award and Rs 1 crore. He hasn’t even turned 20. There is no doubt that an injection of cash is critical to revive hockey in India. Nimbus and the IHF have delivered what they had promised. It is time to raise a toast to them
Sher-E-Punjab reigns supreme
Sher-E-Punjab’s deadly forwardline overwhelmed Pune Strykers 5-2 in the Bridgestone World Series Hockey (WSH) final on Monday.
V.S. Vinaya, with his tireless display in the defensive and offensive half, scored first for Sher-E-Punjab. Former India strikers Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh were also on target in the big game as the favourite played true to form.
Prabhjot sealed the victory with a stunning individual effort, darting through the Pune half on a diagonal run into the circle and finishing with a crisp backhander to the roof.
Two breathtaking strikes, a Tyron Pereira field goal and an indirect penalty corner drill executed by Vinaya, stood out in the pulsating first quarter played at the MHA Mahindra Stadium.
Pune’s young forward Pereira bulged the net with an acute angle scoop on the right, looping the ball beyond the goalkeeper adjusting position in anticipation of a cross.
The fourth minute breakthrough was neutralised by Vinaya, who waited patiently as the ball rolled towards him and scooped home.
Pune defenders charged out, targeting Gurjinder and Harpal and then stood frozen for a moment as the trick was played out.
Pune’s semifinal hero Gurpreet Singh stood his ground under the bar, blocking livewire Prabhjot after Gagan and Thakur linked up in a display of telepathic understanding.
Gagan deceived the defence with a deceptive pass on the run into space on the right. Thakur read the move to receive on the goalline, cut in and switch to his teammate.
Vinay was a constant threat to Pune’s ambitions, overlapping on the right for passes which were then swiftly relayed into the goalmouth. He also appeared in his goalmouth to foil forwards with timely blocks.
Thakur got into the act in the 33rd minute, anticipating a forward pass from Matthew Hotchkis and slotting home from the top of the circle.
Punjab’s sharper strikers made better use of space and combined better than their hardworking rivals to cross over just a shade ahead 2-1 at half-time.
Pune wrested back ball possession in the third quarter, running with the ball.
Prabhjot sounded the boards finally after numerous on-the-run attempts, this time crashing a backhander past Gurpreet, punishing a distracted rival defence.
The first season champion earned Rs. 4 crore and second-placed team Rs. 2 crore.
The losing semifinalists — Chandigarh Comets and Karnataka Lions — got Rs. 1 crore each.
Gurjinder and Imran Warsi of Chennai Cheetahs shared the Golden Stick award for scoring most number of goals (19), worth Rs. 25 lakh. Gurjinder was also named Player-of-the-Tournament.
The result: Sher-E-Punjab 5 (V.S. Vinaya, Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh 2, Harpreet Singh) bt Pune Strykers 2 (Tryon Pereira, Simrandeep Randhawa)
Marines sink Cheetahs’ semifinal hopes with resounding victory
Mumbai Marines torpedoed Chennai Cheetahs’ semi final hopes with a comprehensive 4-1 victory in the final league encounter of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium here tonight.
The Marines, who had no chance of advancing even with a victory, spoilt their southern rivals’ chances with some fine defending, especially by their captain Adrian D’Souza, who kept the scoreboard clean with some splendid saves, and some opportunistic strikes up front.
Cheetahs, who needed nothing less than a victory to push out Pune Strykers and finish third in the league, failed in their endeavour despite forcing a spate of penalty corners as their drag-flick expert Imran Warsi failed to beat rival custodian and Marines captain Adrian D’Souza till the fag end of the game.
The result knocked Cheetahs out of the competition along with the Marines and the semi final line-up is: Chandigarh Comets versus Pune Strykers at Bangalore and Shet-E-Punjab versus Karnataka Lions at this venue.
Both the semi finals are to be held on April 1 while the final will be held at this venue on April 2.
The Marines struck twice in the opening half through Xess Banmali, a field effort in the third minute, Ajmer Singh who converted a penalty stroke in the 21st minute after Sushil Topno’s stick was hooked by Cheetahs’ custodian C Santosh, and in the 61st through a superb strike by Australian Troy Sutherland to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
Cheetahs’, who wasted eight short corners with their expert Imran Warsi repeatedly foiled by Olympian Adrian, finally opened the account in the 65th minute when the Pakistani ace at last got the ball past the Marines skipper.
However, the Marines scored their last goal to complete the visitors’ humiliation when Aijub Ekka sounded the board from an unmarked position to complete the rout.
The Marines started positively with some incisive moves but Joga Singh, their top scorer with 7 goals under his belt, dithered inside the ‘circle’ and was easily dispossessed of the ball on a few occasions.
The home team, playing at their venue after almost a fortnight’s gap, forged into the lead in the third minute through a move on the right side. A crowded area saw the ball passed from the by-line to the unmarked Xess Banmali who struck home with a reverse hit from 10 yards out.
The southern Cheetahs, who have mostly depended upon their penalty corner expert ¿ Pakistan’s Imran Warsi ¿ to score got three set-piece opportunities within a ten-minute period in the second quarter. The first one led to the second and on the last two occasions Mumbai captain Adrian D¿Souza foiled the powerful drag-flicks of Warsi. While the Cheetahs made moves mostly down the left flank with good feeds from the midfield essayed by captain Brent Livermore and Vikram Pillay, with Adam Silnclair moving in dangerously down the left by-line, it was the Marines who struck off a counter attack in the 21st minute of play.
A quick move down the middle saw Sushil Topno free inside the circle and he was about to shoot when Cheetahs goalkeeper C Santosh hooked his stick and the resultant penalty stroke award was converted by deep defender Ajmer Singh to give the Marines a 2-0 lead.
Cheetahs forced three more short corners in the remainder of the first half, off which D¿Souza saved two while Devinde Walmiki cleared the rebound off the third after his captain had blocked the drag-flick by Sunil Yadav when Warsi was off the field.
At half time the Marines led 2-0 and maintained that in a barren third quarter. And the home team effectively buried the visitors¿ semi final hopes in the last quarter with nine minutes left for the final hooter off a fine goal by Australian Troy Sutherland who first-timed the ball into the board off a lovely and long through ball from Devinder Walmiki.
Though Warsi finally succeeded with his drag-flick off the ninth penalty corner award for the Cheetahs, it was too late in the day to make any difference and to put the icing on the cake the Marines scored for the fourth time with just seconds left when Ekka sounded the board.
However, despite the victory, the marines finished last in the eight team league
CHENNAI CHEETAHS CONJURES UP A SUPER WIN >br>From S Thyagarajan
In a nail biting contest in which the fortunes swung from side to side like pendulum Chennai Cheetahs recovered from a 1-3 deficit to end the day with honours with a 6-4triumph against Delhi Wizards in the World Series of Hockey (WSH) here on Wednesday.
The outcome, which enhanced Chennai’s total to 19 points from 13 matches, gives another lease of life to put up a fight for a place in the semi-final. This was probably the best encounter that the Chennai outfit had played on the home turf, much to the delight of the spectators.
It would be invidious to pinpoint an individual in the Chennai but if it is a compulsion then the honour should go Adam Sinclair, for the two spectacular goals he netted, and the all round display by Vikram Pillay and, of course, to the darling of the crowd, Imran Warsi for the two penalty corners that he converted to bring the parity at 3-3.
For the Delhi team, the hero was, indisputably, the penalty corner striker, Vikramjit Singh, who hit in a four in a row.
It appeared at one point that the Chennai team was near the exit door to the semi-finals. But the match swung into life in the third quarter. In a rare display of spirit, speed and skill, the Chennai squad turned the tables on the rival which was leading three one on the strength of the hat-trick performed by Vikramjit Singh.
Delhi had everything its way thanks to the quick moves engineered by Germany’s Sunkel from the mid-field. Both the seasoned forwards, Rajpal Singh and the Pakistani, Shakeel Abbasi, carried forward a series of moves to puncture the Chennai defence. Vikramjit luxuriated in the penalty corners.
Chennai’s recovery was led by Veeraswamy Raja, who scored a peach of a goal from a cross by Vikas Sharma for the equaliser in the first quarter. But the attack continued to be listless for the major part of the second quarter notwithstanding splendid work by Vikram Pillay. Delhi netted two goals in the second quarter to lead 3-1.
The complexion of the contest underwent a dramatic change in the third when Chennai began to exert pressure. Five penalty corners surfaced during this period. The fierce shots by Imran Warsi were saved with assurance by goal-keeper Kamaldeep Singh but Imran had the last laugh pumping in two to the roof of the net. The teams were on par at 3-3 as the final quarter got under way.
Initially, Delhi held the whip hand earning two penalty corners. Vikramjit’s first attempt was stopped neatly on the goal line by Vikram Pillay. The Delhi striker was unlucky in the next when the ball crashed against the cross piece and spun into play.
In a desperate effort to shift the pressure, Chennai surged into the attack Adam Sinclair touched brilliant form at this point. He hoisted the lead (4-3) with a lovely deflection from the right. Vikram Pillay followed suit within a minute netting the fifth even as Adam Sinclair capped a superb solo run to slam the sixth goal.
Before the final whistle, Delhi narrowed the lead, Vikramjit netting his fourth in the match. But what a tumble for a team that looked like conquering everything before it.
The result: Chennai Cheetahs 6 (Veeraswamy Raja, Imran Warsi 2, Adam Sinclair 2,)beat Delhi Wizards 4 ( Vikramjit Singh 4)
Tomorrow’s matches: Chandigarh Comets v Karnataka Lions (7 p.m.); Chandigarh; Bhopal Badshahs v Pune Strykers (9 p.m.) Bhopal
WSH: Cheetahs bounce back to beat Delhi Wizards 6-4 Chennai Cheetahs’ performance so far at home has been disappointing (one win, four losses and one draw) but on Wednesday they made a good comeback to blow Delhi Wizards away 6-4 in the World Series Hockey at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.
Cheetahs’ Pakistani import Imran Warsi converted two penalty-corners to level the score 3-3 and then it was former India striker Adam Sinclair (63rd & 66th) and Vikram Pillay (65th) who turned the tide in Cheetahs’ favour to keep their semifinal hopes alive. Cheetahs, who have 19 points from 13 matches, will play their last league match against Mumbai Mariners on Friday. Sher-E-Punjab (25) and Chandugarh Comets (25) have already sealed their last-four berths. If Cheetahs beat Mariners and Pune Strykers (19 points) lose to Bhopal Bhadshas, the Chennai side will go through to the semifinals. Wizards, with 16 points, are out of the semifinal race.
Vikramjeet Singh scored all the four goals for Wizards but his effort went vain. The Wizards defender, taking their first penalty corner, converted in the 11th minute but the former India international V Raja was quick enough to score the equalizer for Cheetahs in the 14th minute. Cheetahs’ play-maker Vikas Sharma sent a pass to Raja, who scored with a scorching drive. It was Raja’s first goal in the tournament.
Vikramjeet converted another penalty corner to make it 2-1 in the 27th minute. Wizards led 2-1 in the second quarter and Vikramjeet was spot on to convert their third penalty corner make it 3-1 in the 38th minute.
Cheetahs combined as a unit with Vikas Sharma, Vikram Pillay, Raja and Vinod Pillay working hard but they could not score. Imran Warsi came to the fore again as he converted a penalty corner in the 47th minute to reduce the margin 2-3 and four minutes later scored another one through a sharp drag-flick to draw level 3-3. Warsi leads the goal scorers’ chart with 18 goals so far.
Cheetahs could have taken the lead when Adam Sinclair sent a pass from the right flank to Mark Harris inside the D but the Aussie missed it. When Cheetahs midfielder Mujtaba Hamza collided with Gurvinder Singh, Wizards were awarded a penalty corner by field umpire Satinder Kumar Sharma. This time Virkramjeet missed the chance.
Now the Cheetahs surge began. Sinclair, taking advantage of a goal-mouth melee, put them ahead 4-3 in the 63rd minute and Vikram scored two minutes later to increase the lead 5-3. Sinclair scored in the 66th minute to make it 6-3
World Series Hockey: Comets thrash Cheetahs 3-0
CHENNAI: Home does not seem to give Chennai Cheetahs any comfort as they crashed to another loss in their backyard on Monday.
It was Chandigarh Comets’ turn to rub salt into Cheetahs’ wounds, beating them 3-0 in a World Series Hockey match at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium on Monday.
Amir Khan, Gurjinder Singh and Gabbar Singh scored for the visitors. With this win, Chandigarh Comets logged 22 points and virtually sealed their last-four berth. Karnataka Lions (18), with two games in hand, are ahead of the Bhopal Bhadshahs (17) and Cheetahs (16) in the semifinal race. Table toppers Sher-E-Punjab (25) have already entered the semifinals.
In the other match played later in the evening, Delhi Wizards demolished Pune Strykers 6-2 . Upendra Pillay, Shakeel Abbasi, Vikramjeet Singh, Victo Singh 2 and Vikramjeet Singh scored for the winners. Mario Nicolas Almada and Vikas Topo reduced the margins for the hosts.
Cheetahs go down to Sher-e-Punjab
26 Mar 2012: CHENNAI: Until Karnataka Lions’ late bloom, a semifinal spot looked ordained for Chennai Cheetahs. But Lions’ overnight victory and their 2-4 loss to Sher-e-Punjab here on Sunday have ensured that the Cheetahs’ route to the final four isn’t hassle free.
Having endured a relative slump in form after their spectacular start, Punjab were less flamboyant and more purposeful. Affected by winger Prabhjot Singh’s absence, they weren’t quite as aggressive as they had been in the tournament.
They were further forced to circumspection when Cheetahs took the lead in clinical fashion. Vikram Pillay sped forth, with as many as three markers snapping at his coattails, and gave a sweetly placed through ball to Adam Sinclair, who tucked the ball home.
The seventh-minute goal was perhaps the impetus Punjab required to seek a more aggressive approach.
They applied sustained pressure on the Cheetahs, whose defence isn’t their most bankable asset. Their intrusions weren’t pacy, but Bikramjeet Singh duly converted their second penalty corner — an example of placement rather than power.
He was on the bench when Punjab earned their third penalty corner, but their firstchoice Harpreet Singh ensured they weren’t to mess up a vital lead. But keeping the benumbed crowd in the match, Cheetahs drew level in the 32nd minute, though Imran Warsi’s wasn’t the cleanest of efforts.
Nonetheless, it took a deflection of Harpreet’s flannel to the net. That was an intense passage of play, wherein neither side created any realistic chance but had tussles in the midfield. Cheetahs, in fact, looked more vulnerable to a lapse, and the equaliser originated from one of their stray attempts.
Post the break, Punjab pursued a more open approach, with Deepak Thakur on the forefront of their moves. His pace might have gone down a few notches, but the silken skills seemed untouched by the vagaries of time and injuries.
The hosts, though, had the first clear chance but Joseph Reardon flayed it over.
But otherwise, their attempts were feeble on rare occasions they sneaked into Punjab arc.
It needed only seven minutes into the third half for Punjab to reclaim the lead.
On one of their rare forays through the right, Mandeep Antil dished out a clever back pass to an unmarked Matthew Hotchikis, whose reverse hit was powerful and accurate.
Though doubts pertained to whether he was inside the scoring area during his execution, replays confirmed positively, and Cheetahs were again forced to catch-up.
They had a brace of halfchances, only to be spurned.
Sinclair, despite stretching his stick, couldn’t direct the cheeky cross from Reardon while Warsi spurned a late penalty corner. Gagan Ajit Singh, a talent gone astray, scored the fourth goal in the 67th minute.
Despite the loss, Cheetahs are still well-placed to advance to the semifinal but not unless they find a goalscorer other than Warsi
World series hockey: Punjab thrash hosts Chennai
Sher-E-Punjab confirmed their presence in the semifinals of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey with a thoroughly professional 4-2 win over Chennai Cheetahs here on Sunday. The result at the MRK Stadium has diminished Chennai’s chances of progressing to the next round.
Chennai have little time for recovery as they are facing Chandigarh Comets in their next home match on Monday. No-one can begrudge Punjab’s win because the visitors were sharper and more incisive on the attacking half. The hosts, on the other hand, struggled to combine well throughout. Their passing was erratic and circle penetration as frequent as snow fall in the Tamil Nadu capital.
Sinclair put Chennai ahead with a blockbuster goal in the seventh minute. The goal was world-class in its execution. When Vikram Pillay fired a pass into the ‘D’ from the centre-line, he wouldn’t have imagined that the ball would end up in Punjab’s cage. But Sinclair had other ideas as he steered the ball home with a majestic touch on the run. The sublime strike electrified the stadium. Sinclair leapt like a Cheetah and punched the air in utter delight.
But Punjab didn’t allow Chennai to bask in Sinclair’s glory. The strapping full-back Bikramjit Singh brought the visitors level with a scorching grounder off his team’s second PC. Punjab’s next short corner was also productive, the only difference being the identity of the goal-scorer. Harpreet Singh, who had replaced Bikramjit, found the target with an unstoppable flick.
In hockey, attacks generally tend to originate on the right, the natural side of players. But Punjab attacked relentlessly on the left. They were right because Chennai had no defending to speak of in that area. Chennai’s familiar malaise of nervousness in build-up play once again afflicted them as they erred repeatedly in long passes.
Imran Warsi, so often Chennai’s saviour in the WSH, once again put up his hand to drag his team into the match. The Pakistani PC ace struck his 16th goal of the event a few minutes before half-time to send the home crowd into raptures.
But Chennai didn’t have anything to shout about in the third and fourth quarters. Barring a PC, they never came close to scoring. Punjab weren’t so goal shy. Matthew Hotchkis made it 3-2 for Punjab with a superb effort from the top of the ‘D’ and Gagan Ajit Singh added one more in the final minutes to condemn Chennai to their third home defeat. V.S. Vinaya was industrious and inventive for the winners.
When Chennai survey the wreckage, they can take heart from a couple of positives. Goalkeeper C. Santosh was outstanding, despite conceding four goals. A point-blank save he effected to deny William Xalxo took the breath away. Tamil Nadu youngster S. Sivamani, who partnered Pillay in the middle, took on experienced Punjab players with confidence.
Results: Sher-E-Punjab 4 (Bikramjit Singh 13, Harpreet Singh 22, Matthew Hotchkis 43, Gagan Ajit Singh 67) bt Chennai Cheetahs 2 (Adam Sinclair 7, Imran Warsi 32). Bhopal Badshahs 2 (Affan Yousuf 12, Mudassar Ali Khan 61) bt Mumbai Marines 1 (Sandeep Michael 45) Action today: Chennai Cheetahs vs Chandigarh Comets (7 pm). Pune Strykers vs Delhi Wizards (9 pm).
Note: Both matches are live on Neo Sports and Neo Cricket
Sher-E-Punjab enter World Series Hockey semifinals
CHENNAI: Chennai Cheetahs could not stop the attackers of league toppers Sher-E-Punjab in the World Series Hockey on Sunday and lost 2-4 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.
It was Cheethas’ fifth loss in 11 matches while Sher-E-Punjab increased their lead over Chandigarh Comets (18) to seven points in the league table.
This match was crucial for Cheetahs (16 points from 11 matches) who were closely following Chandigarh Comets and Karnataka Lions (18 from 12 games). Sher-E-Punjab never allowed the Cheetahs any chance after the first few minutes.
Sher-E-Punjab attacked from the word go. But it was the home side that scored against the run of play when former India striker Adam Sinclair converted a brilliant Vikram Pillay pass in the seventh minute. But the Cheetahs lead was short-lived as Sher-E-Punjab defender Vikramjeet Singh scored the equalizer through a penalty-corner in the 13th minute.
Harpreet Singh converted their second penalty corner of the day in the 22nd minute to increase the lead for Punjab but Cheetahs ace drag-flicker Imran Warsi, who is the top scorer with 16 goals so far, was spot on to convert a penalty-corner to make it 2-2 in the 32nd minute.
Former India star Deepak Thakur played brilliantly for Sher-E-Punjab and along with Mandeep Antil in the forward-line, invaded the Cheetahs goalmouth time and again. For the Cheetahs Vikram was impressive on the field and the former Indian play-maker tried his best to generate attacks with the help of skipper Brent Livermore.
Sher-E-Punjab increased the lead 3-2 through their foreign import Matthew Hotchkis in the 43rd minute. Though, there was a confusion regarding Matthews’s goal when the Cheetahs protested as they thought the shot was taken from outside the D. Field umpires Cariappa AD and Satinder Kumar Sharma referred the decision to video umpire Stewart Dearing who ruled in favour of Sher-E-Pinjab.
Sher-E-Pinjab scored again through former India forward Gagan Ajit Singh in the 68th minute
Sher-E-Punjab too good for Cheetahs
Persistence and pugnacity came in the right blend to ensure full points for Sher-E-Punjab against Chennai Cheetahs in a stirring Sunday contest in the World Series Hockey (WSH) tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.
The 4-2 outcome underlined the edge the Punjab team enjoyed for the major part of the contest.
Sher-E-Punjab continues to be the top outfit in the competition, notwithstanding a couple of reverses in recent matches. It is still on top of the table with 25 points.
On Sunday, there was no dispute about the Punjab outfit being better organised than its rival.
Unfazed by the first goal, which Adam Sinclair scored with a superb one-touch on the run off a pass from Vikram Pillay, the Punjab squad tightened every department. Playing a perfect man-to-man style, Punjab closed down all routes for Chennai.
Inderjit Chadha worked with commendable zeal and skill, and was supported well on the right by Vinaya in the midfield. The Punjab forwards kept increasing the pressure on Cheetahs every minute.
Deepak Thakur and Karamjit Singh exposed the chinks in the Cheetahs’ armour frequently as Sher-E-Punjab forced five penalty corners against the three by the host.
The equaliser was not long in coming. Bikramjit Singh pumped in a penalty corner without fuss after an earlier attempt by Prabhdeep Singh was foiled by goalkeeper Santosh.
Thereafter, exchanges were lively for a while before the Punjab outfit enlarged the lead off a penalty corner hit by Harpreet Singh.
The pace of the contest had accelerated by then, with the crowd expecting a penalty corner for the home team.
And when it surfaced, the fans chanted “Warsi, Warsi” and the Pakistani star did not disappoint. The 2-2 scoreline only heightened the tension and excitement.
It became quite clear at the start of the third quarter that Sher-E-Punjab was on the ascendancy. There was a noticeable vibrancy in the frontline sallies, with Vinaya side-stepping the defenders with delectable ease.
It was one of his surges that culminated in Matthew Hotchkis deflecting the ball into the net, leaving the Cheetahs defenders stunned. Predictably, Sher-E-Punjab began to guard its lead, leaving little scope for the host to stage a comeback.
To make matters worse, the Cheetahs attack lacked sharpness. A feeble attempt by Rearden in the final minutes went agonisingly close to the target.
It was Sher-E-Punjab which celebrated the final minutes as veteran Gagan Ajit Singh slammed home a cross from Thakur.
Sher-E-Punjab 4 (Bikramjit, Harpreet, Hotchkis, Gagan Ajit) bt Chennai Cheetahs 2 (Sinclair, Warsi).
Chennai Cheetahs v Chandigarh Comets, Chennai, 7 p.m.; Pune Strykers v Delhi Wizards, Pune, 9 p.m
March 23, 2012: Match No.41
Nikkin Thimmaiah stars in Strykers 4-2 win
* Youngster fires two goals in three minutes as Pune Strykers beat Mumbai Marines 4-2
* Gurpreet Singh (28 min), Mario Almada (34th min), Nikkin Thimmiah (43rd & 45th mins) score for Strykers * Banmali Xess (15th min) and Troy Sutherland (27th min) score for Marines
Pune, March 23, 2012: The inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey has witnessed the emergence of many new stars in the past three weeks when the ball started rolling. This time, it was the young talented forward from Pune Strykers, Nikkin Thimmiah, who took the centrestage in the match against neighbours Mumbai Marines here on Friday. Thimmiah fired two scintillating goals in the space of three minutes to turn the match in Pune’s favour after it was tantalizingly poised at 2-2, for a heartwarming 4-2 win for the hosts.
Colts Banmali Xess and Aijub Ekka, working hard upfront, grabbed half chances that came their way to account for the both goals that Marines scored in the pulsating match. But Gurpeet Singh and Mario Almada restored parity in the second quarter, leaving Nikkin to showcase his skills for a fluent win.
Both teams, who have lost their previous two encounters, and were thus in dire need of a morale-boosting wins, started their rescue mission cautiously, content in probing in each other’s territory. After full-back Ajmir Singh blunted many a Strykers attack, Banmali Xess’ opportunism titled the scales in favour of the Marines at the end of first quarter. Standing close to goalie, he turned a bit before deflecting a freewheeling hit-in that rose high and found the left top corner of the net.
Caution was thrown to winds when the team returned for the second quarter, proved by the fact this part of the game produced three fantastic goals to share four goals at half-time. Troy Sutherland from top of the circle sent a reverse hand, Aijub Ekka intercepted its trajectory to deflect it to the right of the goalie for Marines’ second goal. Pepped by the sizeable vocal home stands, Strykers launched their moves upfront, and staged a dream comeback within a short time.
Gurpreet Singh struck from the first penalty corner. His drag hit Clyde Abraham’s stick on the right end of the cage, took a ugly inward turn towards the other end of the cage, and landed inside. Five minutes later, Roshan Minz pouncd on a loose ball and promptly passed it to Mario Almada, waiting in the circle on the right. The Argentinean marvel couched low to send a diagonal grounder that landed the end of the other side.
With amazing sprints and scoring acumen, Thimmaiah stole the limelight in the third quarter, which proved decisive for the Strykers. He struck twice against the hapless Marines goalkeeper-cum captain Adrian D’Souza, who did not get enough cover from his defence.
Firstly, Adrian committed early and left the cage empty for Thimmaiah to punch in a melee while in a split second the Strykers forward surged from top of the D to effect an acute grounder that wrecked the entire Marines. The visitors, lacking in precision, wasted both penalty corners due to bad stops, and then Bimal Lakra took some good shots at the goal.
Schedule for March 24: (Live on Neo Sports)
Bhopal Badshahs vs Chanidgarh Comets at Bhopal, 7pm
Karnataka Lions v Delhi Wizards at Bengaluru, 9pm
Karnataka Len has the last laugh in the den
* Aiyappa dazzles with two PC goals as Lions stun Sher-E-Punjab 2-1
* Len Aiyappa scores a brace (6th & 58th mins)
* Harpreet Singh scores lone goal (39th min) for Shers
Bengaluru, March 23, 2012: In the biggest upset of the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey, Karnataka Lions handed a 2-1 defeat on leaders Sher-E-Punjab here at the KSHA Stadium on Friday. The result was arguably the strongest re-affirmation of the topsy-turvy nature of this action-packed tournament. The Lions, who were struggling at the bottom for most part of the league, managed to convincingly beat an almost invincible-looking Sher-E-Punjab. Drag-flicker Len Aiyappa was the chief architect of their victory with two deadly goals from penalty-corners. In contrast, the Shers fizzled out on the PC front, convertng just one out of nine PCs in the match, with mosy of their their forwardline appearing off-colour today.
For any keen follower of the tournament, the writing was on the wall for Shers in their previous match against Mumbai Marines, which they won only by the skin of their teeth. On that occasion, Ajmer Singh had managed to keep Shers’ dangerman Deepak Thakur quiet with some dogged defending though the speedy forward managed to score a goal towards the end. Today. Aiyappa kept a tight leash on the dodgy Thakur, and as a result, the Shers were left stranded on numerous occasions despite getting the ball inside the D.
With this marvelous timely win, their fifth, Karnataka Lions climbed another two rungs in the points table, and are now conveniently placed at fourth, a reality that even their fanatic supporter would not have anticipated, for, the team had been languishing at the bottom of the table in the first two weeks of the league.
Displaying perhaps the best defence that WSH witnessed in the three weeks so far, Lions repulsed umpteen attacks of Shers to emerge successful in a thriller where tempers ran high, and Lions captain Arjun Halappa received a yellow card suspension on account of his team’s intemperate appeal against German umpire Mark Knulle.
Ravi Pal Singh sent a diagonal pass from 25-yard line which Halappa trapped in the circle on the right, even before the stands settled on their seats, and Halappa getting no angle to shoot at, cleverly placed on a defenders leg to manufacture Lions’ first penalty corner. Aiyappa executed a drag flick that hit charger Harpal Singh’s leg, leading to golden whistle holder Satinder Sharma award another penalty corner.
Aiyappa stunned goalie Sukhjeet Singh with his high flick to put Lions ahead as early as sixth minute. The veteran star again came to the team’s rescue after Harpreet Singh cancelled out his first goal, with his second stunner which ultimately turned out to be the Lions winner.
The Shers came back fuming after the early setback, matched Lions with a series of excellent counterattacks. It was the sterling show of Olympian Devesh Chauhan, the ‘Wall’, under the bar that prevented equalizer till the half time. Chauhan dived enough, jumped adequately, fell whenever and wherever needed to block umpteen shots during the Shers field attempts and short corner set pieces to deny them any room in his den.
On the other hand, the Lions, despite making some thrusts upfront, fumbled in the circle to enhance their lead. On change of sides, Mandeep Antil came close to strike, but his forehand from the top just missed the right post. The usually sharp Prabhjot Singh could not make much headway as Lions tightened their defence and would not allow solos.
Young Harpreet Singh fetched the equalizer off the fifth penalty corner. Shortly later Thakur failed to deflect the ball into the net from close quarter.
Aiyappa, after giving in to Harpal Singh’s quick charges, overcame him in his fourth and last penalty corner attempt, which proved too much for Shers to neutralize. Harpal again charged quickly, but the ball got deflected off his stick and landed on the right side netting. This was probably the Lions best moment in the tournament and undisputably the most embarassing for the Shers.
Schedule for March 24: (Live on Neo Sports)
Bhopal Badshahs vs Chandigarh Comets at Bhopal, 7pm
Karnataka Lions v Delhi Wizards at Bengaluru, 9pm
24th March 2012: Match 43
Red-alert as Lions on the rampage
* Karnataka Lions win third match on the trot as they beat Delhi Wizards 3-1
* Ravi Pal Singh (8th min), Jarnail Singh (36th min) Len Aiyappa (66th min) score for the Lions
* Rajpal Singh reduces the margin for Wizards in the 51st min
Bengaluru, March 24, 2012: In one of the most remarkable turnaround that the inaugural Bridegstone World Series Hockey has witnessed, Karnataka Lions appears to have woken up from their slumber late but completely. The Lions, more popularly known as the team that features the ‘face of Indian hockey’, the 41-year-old Dhanraj Pillay, notched their third consecutive win to fashion arguably the most dramatic comeback in this tournament – adding a convinicng 3-1 win over Delhi Wizards here at the KHSA Stadium on Saturday after their shocking win over leaders Sher-E-Punjab the previous day.
With three amazing back-to-back wins, Lions are now comfortably perched at third in the pool table.
Despite playing with a player less in the last 20 minutes, the cohesive and coherent Lions combined briliantly to take a 2-0 lead within the first 20 minutes and thereafter with a dogged defence kept the marauding forwards of Wizards at bay. After gifting a goal midway through, Len Aiyappa ensured safe victory passage with a late penalty corner conversion.
Despite the smooth sailing Lions lost their cool in the final phase of the match, which almost threatened them with defeat, but the reliable Aiyappa saved the day for the home team, making use of their seventh and last short corer.
The Lions were cruising for a well-deserved victory with 2-0 lead till the third quarter. However, their momentary lapse of concentration allowed the profligate the Wizards to come and taunt them with a goal. The Lions indulged in needless rough tackles and reckless body play in the last phase, and had two players sent off simultaneously.
Both scorers of the Lions, Jarnail Singh and Ravi Pal Singh, for a change, paved the way for the Wizards’ long due comeback. Delhi’s chances came alive after the stern and strict Mark Knulle showed no mercy on Jarnail Singh, who received the WSH’s first red card. In the same minute, the usually composed Ravi Pal Singh needlessly shouldered Vikram Kant in the midfield, leading to a green card suspension.
The Wizards struck when the iron was hot. They lost no time in grabbing the two-men advantage. The sharp and accurate Rajpal Singh sprinted fast with a ball on one hand to the circle from the left flank, passed the ball from the right baseline, and saw to his satisfaction to be deflected into the cage by Lions’ Vinayak Bijwad, a self-goal.
Zeeshan Ashraff, Aiyappa and the lion-hearted Nitin Kumar stood in tandem to ward off innumerable attacks the Wizards launched when they had superior numbers on the field. Devesh Chauhan, the ‘Wall’, was undaunted and came out with another sterling show to deny the likes of Shakeel Abassi, Upendra Pillay and Victo Singh any room for scoring.
Earlier, the usually reliable penalty corner did not work out for the Lions. However, Ravi Pal ran along the baseline to cut a rebound, and then whacked it to the other side of the net for the match’s first goal. After Arjun Antil set up, left winger Jarnail Singh deflected a close range ball to add to the woes of the Wizards. The Lions are in full flow at the moment and the tournament is likely to get even more exciting in the coming days.
Schedule for March 25: Chennai Cheetahs vs Sher-E-Punjab at Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Chennai, 7pm; Bhopal Badshahs vs Mumbai Marines at Bhopal; 9pm. Live on Neo Sports.
24th March 2012: Match 44
Bhopals are the Sultans of Swing
* Bhopal Badshahs script a brilliant 4-4 draw against Chandigarh Comets
* Shailendra Singh Bundela scores two goals to fashion the miraculous fightback, also wins the man-of-the-match award; Affan Yousaf and Sameer Dad score one apiece for the Badshahs
Bhopal, March 24, 2012: The goals have been coming thick and fast in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey but the real heroes of the tournament are the fighters who have come back from behind.
In an incredible fight back, probably the show-stopper match of the tournament till now, Bhopal Badshahs scripted an unbelievable draw after trailing 4-0 at halftime against Chandigarh Comets here. Their gutsy goalkeeper Baljit Singh brought a brilliant save against Pakistani star Rehan Butt, who had an empty goal post in front and was about to make it 5-0. Shailendra Singh Bundela led the fight back for the hosts with two goals, with the final one coming off an unexpected deflection at the last minute which took the Comets goalkeeper completely by surprise.
Everything went right for Comets in the first half. All the three penalty corners were converted before colt Amir Khan added one through field effort. With a mountain to climb in the second session, Badshahs struck twice a goal apiece from Affan Yousaf and Sameer Dad before Shailendra Singh Bundela cleverly made use of two penalty corners to see his side not only escape from defeat but also salvage a point from what appeared a hapless situation.
Comets fructified their first penalty corner, though it was difficult to aver whether it was by design or fluke. Gurjinder Singh got the pushed ball with a bad stop, could not take the shot, yet in the spur of moment, sent it gently backwards to Sukhwinder ‘Gabbar’ Singh. The Canadian star lost no time to grab the chance, and whacked a deceptive forehand that crashed into the middle of the net.
The hard working Bharat Chhikara fetched the second penalty corner. Gurjinder Singh’s delayed shot first hit the charger’s stick, but on deflection menacingly veered towards the net. Goalie Baljit Singh jumped to block, yet the ball bounced off his right hand to hit the roof of the net, giving an idea of the power that Gurjinder packed in his drag flick.
The second goal spurred the Badshahs, they created chances from left flank and had better share of the attacks. Still the goals eluded them. First Lalit Upadhyay’s forehand from left of the circle hit the other post, and then an alert Ajitesh Roy made a couple of goaline saves.
In the early moments of second quarter, Sukhwinder Singh added another when a rebound landed right on his footsteps in the third penalty corner drill. The goalie was already beaten and laid on the ground as Sukhwinder kept his shot high and deceptive.
However, livewire Affan Yousaf breathed life into the Badshahs four minutes into the lemon time. Covering his ball from chasing Jiwa Mohan, Affan entered the D from the centre to hit a reverse. Five minutes later, Lalit surged into the circle from the right flank, sent a parallel pass. Pakistan’s former captain Mudassar Ali Khan, who played his first WSH encounter today, showed his class, teamed with the solid medio Waseem Ahmed to create enough chances for the Badashahs to salvage their prestige.
Badshahs coach Vasudevan Baskaran deployed a new man for executing the penalty corner in the 60th minute to a thunderous applause. Bundela played a perfect saviour role to send a grounder that brought the score to 4-3 and then posted another one six minutes before the hooter to engineer the best draw of the tournament in its three weeks of existence.
Schedule for March 25: Chennai Cheetahs vs Sher-E-Punjab at Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Chennai, 7pm; Bhopal Badshahs vs Mumbai Marines at Bhopal; 9pm. Live on Neo Sports
Chennai Warsi’s second home
There was a deathly silence at the MRK Stadium when Imran Warsi of Chennai Cheetahs was carried off the field after a collision with a Bhopal Badshahs player during a World Series Hockey match on Tuesday.
Chennai fans, however, regrouped soon as they belted out the name of the Pakistani ace. The cries of “Warsi, Warsi” rented the air again when the Cheetah returned to action after treatment on the sidelines.
There was no surprise that the Cheetahs fans have warmed up to Warsi, who has taken the WSH by storm through his deadly drag flicks. The handsome Pakistani is the man with the Midas touch. Warsi has contributed 15 of Chennai’s 32 goals in 10 matches. The drag flicker leads second-placed Gurjinder Singh of Chandigarh by four goals on the scoring charts. Warsi is a red-hot favourite for the golden stick at the inaugural WSH.
Warsi has scored at least a goal in each of Chennai’s four home matches so far. When the Cheetahs endured a poor run at the MRK Stadium, Warsi’s penalty corner prowess gave the fans some solace. It was the Pakistani’s precision that paved the way for his team’s maiden win at home on Tuesday. Barring Chennai’s away match at Bhopal, the Pakistani has scored in every game.
Warsi said he was not willing to bask in the limelight. “Hockey is a team game and the goals of an individual shouldn’t become the talking point. I play for the name (Chennai Cheetahs) printed on the front of my jersey. The name on the back (Warsi) is immaterial to me. The performance of the Cheetahs is more important to me than personal glory. We will continue to do well because there is unity in the team,” he added.
The drag flicker enjoys the responsibility of leading Chennai’s charge. “The event is taxing with a tight schedule. I know my team look up to me to deliver whenever we get a penalty corner. It is difficult to live up to their expectations all the time, but I always give my best. Whenever I pull on a Cheetahs shirt, I feel like I’m playing for Pakistan,” he said.
Warsi said he was moved by the gesture of fans when he got injured in the Bhopal match. “I was energised by the affection of our fans. Without the support of fans, no team can flourish. We have the best set of fans in the WSH. The atmosphere in our home matches is terrific.
The Cheetahs owner L.T. Nanwani ensures that the players are comfortable. I feel completely at home in Chennai. I would love to remain a part of the Cheetahs in the next edition of the WSH,” he added.
Even for a professional hockey player, being away from home can be difficult at times. Warsi felt a twinge of sadness on Thursday (March 22) because it was his wife’s birthday. “My wife is in Russia now and she would have loved to have me around on her birthday. I’m fortunate that I have caring and loving team-mates in Chennai,” he said.
Warsi said he is privileged to have Jose Brasa as coach. “He is one of the best coaches I have played under. Brasa is passionate. At the same time, he never loses his composure. He has certainly brought out the best in me. I will always be grateful to him,” he added.
According to the Pakistani, the WSH has become a huge hit in his native country. “The live telecast of matches on Neo is a boon to hockey lovers in Pakistan. My family members never miss a Cheetahs match. TV coverage and monetary benefits are key to the development of the game. Nimbus has done excellent work to run the WSH,” he said.
Warsi said the WSH would throw up new stars for Indian hockey. “I know how the PHL became a platform for many young players to showcase their talent. The WSH is an even better stage. I see many future stars in the Chennai squad such as Sinclair, Vikas, Raja, Santosh, Sivamani, Ekka and Hamza,” he added.
The bonhomie in the Cheetahs ranks was evident during a practice session at the MRK Stadium some days ago. When Deccan Chronicle photographer approached Warsi for a portrait shot, the Pakistani directed him to Raja, saying that the Tamil Nadu player is the Rajnikanth of the team! WSH action today
(Live on Neo Sports) Pune Strykers vs Mumbai Marines (7pm); Karnataka Lions vs Sher-E-Punjab (9pm)
WSH: Team wise match results (after 10 matches each)
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 2.3.2012 dt Karnataka Lions 3 — 2
2 3.3.2012 lt Pune Strykers 1 — 3
3 5.3.2012 lt Cheenai Cheetas 2 — 5
4 7.3.2012 dt Sher-e-Punjab 2 — 1
5 9.3.2012 lt Bhopal Badshahs 1 — 2
6 11.3.2012 dr Mumbai Marines 2 — 2
7 14.3.2012 lt Chandigarh Comets 0 — 1
8 15.3.2012 dt Bhopal Badshahs 3 — 1
9 19.3.2012 dt Mumbai Marines 2 — 1
10 20.3..2012 lt Chandigarh Comets 2 — 3
Goals For: 18
Goals Against: 21
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 1.3.2012 dt Chennai Cheetas 5 — 2
2 3.3.2012 dt Karnatka Lions 6 — 1
3 4.3.2012 dr Pune Strykers 3 — 3
4 7.3.2012 dr Delhi Wizards 1 — 2
5 8.3.2012 lt Chandigarh Comets 1 — 3
6 10.3.2012 dt Bhopal Badshahs 3 — 2
7 14.3.2012 dt Mumbai Marines 3 — 2
8 16.3.2012 dt Chandigarh Comets 5 — 2
9 17.3.2012 dt Bhopal Badshahs 4 — 3
10 21.3.2012 dt Mumbai Marines 2 — 1
Goals For: 33
Goals Against: 21
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 29.2.2012 lt Bhopal Badshahs 3 — 4
2 3.3.2012 lt Chennai Cheetas 3 — 5
3 4.3.2012 dt Mumbai Marines 5 — 2
4 6.3.2012 lt Karnataka Lions 2 — 3
5 8.3.2012 dt Sher-e-Punjab 3 — 1
6 11.3.2012 dt Pune Strykers 3 — 1
7 14.3.2012 dt Delhi Wizards 1 — 0
8 16.3.2012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 2 — 5
9 19.3.2012 dt Pune Strykers 4 — 3
10 20.3.2012 dt Delhi Wizards 3 — 2
Goals For: 29
Goals Against: 26
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 29.2.2012 dt Chandigarh Comets 4 — 3
2 2.3.2012 lt Mumbai Marines 0 — 1
3 5.3.2012 dt Karnataka Lions 3 — 1
4 7.3.2012 dr Pune Strykers 1 — 1
5 9.3.2012 dt Delhi Wizards 2 — 1
6 10.3.3012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 2 — 3
7 12.3.2012 dt Chennai Cheetas 3 — 1
8 15.3.2012 lt Delhi Wizards 1 — 3
9 17.3.2012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 3 — 4
10 20.3.2012 lt Chennai Cheetas 1 — 4
Goals For: 20
Goals Against: 22
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 1.3.2012 dt Pune Strykers 5 — 7
2 2.3.212 dt Bhopal Badshahs 1 — 0
3 4.3.2012 lt Chandigarh Dinamos 2 — 5
4 6.3.2012 dt Chennai Cheetas 4 — 2
5 8.3.2012 dt Karnatka Lions 2 — 1
6 11.3.2012 dr Delhi Wizards 2 — 2
7 14.3.2012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 2 — 3
8 16.3.2012 lt Karnatka Lions 2 — 4
9 19.3.2012 lt Delhi Wizards 1 — 2
10 21.3.2012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 1 — 2
Goals For: 22
Goals Against: 28
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 1.3.2012 dt Mumbai Marnies 7 — 5
2 3.3.2012 dt Delhi Wizards 3 — 1
3 4.3.2012 dr Sher-e-Punjab 3 — 3
4 7.3.2012 dr Bhopal Badshahs 1 — 1
5 9.3.2012 dr Chennai Cheetas 3 — 3
6 11.3.2012 lt Chandigarh Comets 1 — 3
7 12.3.2012 dt Karanatka Lions 3 — 2
8 15.3.2012 lt Chennai Cheetas 1 — 3
9 19.3.2012 lt Chandigarh Comets 3 — 4
10 21.3.2012 lt Karanatka Lions 2 — 3
Goals For: 27
Goals Against: 28
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 2.3.2012 lt Delhi Wizards 2 — 3
2 3.3.2012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 1 — 6
3 5.3.2012 lt Bhopal Badshahs 1 — 3
4 6.3.2012 dt Chandigarh Comets 3 — 2
5 8.3.2012 lt Mumbai Marines 1 — 2
6 10.3.2012 dt Chennai Cheetas 5 — 3
7 12.3.2012 lt Pune Strykers 2 — 3
8 16.3.2012 dt Mumbai Marines 4 — 2
9 17.3.2012 lt Chennai Cheetas 1 — 4
10 21.3.2012 dt Pune Strykers 3 — 2
Goals For: 23
Goals Against: 30
S.No Date Res Team F T
1 1.3.2012 lt Sher-e-Punjab 2 — 5
2 3.3.2012 dt Chandigarh Comets 5 — 3
3 5.3.2012 dt Delhi Wizards 5 — 2
4 6.3.2012 lt Mumbai Marines 2 — 4
5 9.3.2012 dr Pune Strykers 3 — 3
6 10.3.2012 lt Karnataka Lions 3 — 5
7 12.3.2012 lt Bhopal Badshahs 1 — 3
8 15.3.2012 dt Pune Strykers 3 — 1
9 17.3.2012 dt Karnataka Lions 4 — 1
10 20.3.2012 dt Bhopal Badshahs 4 — 1
Goals For: 32
Goals Against: 28
Chandigarh Comets beat Delhi Wizards 3-2 in WSH
CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh Comets held their nerve to defeat Delhi Wizards 3-2 in a World Series Hockey match on Tuesday.
For Chandigarh, Gurjinder Singh and Amir Khan were the goal scorers, while Vikramjeet Singh and Shakeel Abbasi struck for Delhi.
Delhi missed a golden chance to score from a penalty stroke that came their way.
Gurjinder Singh gave Chandigarh the lead in the eighth minute, scoring from the penalty corner.
However, Delhi scored the equaliser from the first penalty corner they earned in the 10th minute, with Vikramjeet Singh doing the needful.
In the 12th minute, Chandigarh earned their second penalty corner but failed to convert. Gurjinder yet again gave them the lead in the 14th minute, scoring from another penalty corner.
Playing their back-to-back game here, Chandigarh, led by Pakistani import Rehan Butt, earned their fourth and fifth penalty corner before half time but could not capitalise.
Delhi scored the equaliser in the 10th minute of the second quarter when Pakistani import and captain Shakeel Abbasi deflected a pass, with both teams locked at 2-2 at the end of half time.
In the ninth minute of the third quarter, Amir Khan made it 3-2 for Chandigarh, scoring from a reverse pass from his team’s Canadian import Sukhwinder Singh Gabbar.
In the 14th minute of the third quarter, Delhi missed a golden chance to make it 3-3 when they earned their second penalty corner, which was converted to a penalty stroke after the ball got deflected from the Chandigarh goalkeeper hitting a defender’s arm.
But Delhi failed to score from the penalty stroke as Vikramjeet Singh hit wide of the post.
Chandigarh have six wins from 10 matches while Delhi have four from equal number of games