Chandigarh Comets
3 - 5
Chennai Cheetahs
3rd Mar. 2012
Chandigarh
Warsi stars in Cheetahs’ action flick

Pakistani drag-flicker scores thrice in 5-3 win over Comets


A brilliant show by drag-flick specialist Syed Imran Warsi of Pakistan helped Chennai Cheetahs to post an emphatic 5-3 victory over Chandigarh Comets in the Bridgestone World Series Hockey at the Sector 42 Stadium here on Saturday.

Two quick goals, early in the first quarter, helped Chennai Cheetahs to dominate the proceedings with better ball possession and they added a third goal in the second quarter to take 3-0 lead with Warsi converting his second short corner. But the Chandigarh Comets came back quickly to pull one back and only a brilliant goalline save by Vikram Pillay seconds before half-time prevented them from being at a striking distance.

Imran Warsi opened the account for Chennai Cheetahs, converting the first set-piece of the match with his trademark drag-flick. He sent in a powerful one to the right hand top corner of the net which brooked no answer from the goalkeeper in the 8th minute.

With playmaker Vikram Pillay being the livewire in the midfield, feeding passes to Brent Livermore, Mark Harris and Adam Sinclair, Cheetas were literally on a prowl creating havoc in the rival defence. One such move within two minutes of the first goal, saw Harris dribble his magic on the backline. He moved in from the left flag menacingly towards the post and a quick flick-in saw Adam Sinclair lurking at the far post and a first time tap, at knee-height, caught the goalkeeper stranded. (2-0; 10th min).

With Chandigarh Comets struggling to get back into the game, Chennai nailed one more goal in the 7th minute of the second quarter earning their second short corner of the match. It was Warsi once again who sent a stunning flick low into the boards, to the right of goalkeeper Swinder Sijngh. (3-0; 24th min)

However, Chandigarh Comets with Pakistan star Rehan Butt coming into his own made a swift counter attack with Ranjodh Singh receiving a long cross from the midfield. He dribbled towards the top of the circle and from near the dotted line, he turned around and unleashed a fierce reverse hit which was deftly deflected by Ramandeep Singh into the goal from close quarters. (1-3; 28th min).

Buoyed by the goal, Comets increased the tempo but conceded another corner to a counter attack. But with Chennai’s Warsi sitting on the bench, Chandigarh Comets not only managed to save it but earned their own short corner in the last minute before half time. But Vikram Pillay’s brilliant goalline save denied them a goal which at that stage would have completely changed the complexion of the match. But that was not to be as Chennai relaxed with a 3-1 half-time score.

Comets continued their chase and made forays into the rival half in the third quarter and were rewarded with a goal in the very third minute to make it 2-3 when a powerful reverse hit by Ranjodh Singh was saved by Chennai goalkeeper Jasbir Singh but an alert Rehan Butt converted the rebound without any fuss. (2-3; 38th min)

But the Chandigarh Comets’ joy was short-lived as Cheetahs came back within two minutes to make it 4-2 (40th min) once again through another penalty corner goal by Imran Warsi, which made him the top goalscorer with five goals thus far in the tournament.

Later in the last quarter, Chennai trying to defend in numbers made a crucial mispass in their own half which led to a fast counter attack and a short corner that saw Sukwinder Singh `Gabbar’ send a shooting grounder to the left of the goalkeeper and the match suddenly opened up once again. (4-3; 64th min). However, Chennai Cheetas did not allow any further damage closing the game with a stunning move from the left flank which saw Harris find the ball and he moved into the circle with only goalkeeper to dodge. He did that with ease, opened up the angle and converted a sitter for a 5-3 victory in the 66th minute.
3
5
Ramandeep Singh 28' (FG)
Rehan Butt 37' (FG)
Sukhwinder Singh 64' (PC)

Syed Warsi 5' (PC)
Adam Sinclair 10' (FG)
Syed Warsi 24' (PC)
Syed Warsi 40' (PC)
Mark Harris 66' (FG)

58
Final
02-Apr
5-2
58
Semi-final 2
01-Apr
4-4
2-3(P)
57
Semi-final 1
01-Apr
4-1
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