Chandigarh Comets prevail in battle of Punjab
PC expert Gurjinder Singh’s double strike blows away Shers
The tables have turned once again in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey. In a crucial match, Chandigarh Comets beat favourites Sher-E-Punjab 3-1, to notch up their second win and climb up in the table after their early setbacks in the tournament.
Gangling youngster, Gurjinder Singh played a stellar role in Comets’ superb victory over their much fancied rivals, with a brace coming off his penalty corners. The youngster was bang on target off the first penalty corner in a lovely variation in the second minute of play, and struck once more off the team’s sixth penalty corner six minutes before the hooter. Canadian star Sukhwinder ‘Gabbar’ Singh entered his name on the scoreboard in between Gurjinder’s brace. Gabbar unleashed a thunder from the top of the circle that hit the roof of the net.
Australian tornado Mathew Hotchkis tapped in a penalty corner rebound to give Shers a chance to fight out in the 59th minute, but their hopes were dashed by Gurjinder’s second blow. Sher-E-Punjab, despite their aggressive game, failed upfront with their inaccurate shooting. Bharat Chhikara had a terrific game today as he was behind most of the penetrating moves made by the Comets in the match.
To their credit, the wounded Shers played with panache in the next two quarters in search of goals. Their forwards Mandeep Antil and Prabhjot Singh ran in tandem and pierced the circle quite often, but the ball failed to find the target time and again. The Comets defence was remarkably tight, and all that the Shers could manage was a penalty corner till the half time. The PC led to a stroke as it hit Ajitesh Rai, who was covering the goalkeeper. However, Pakistani star Tariq Aziz messed it up six minutes before the half time. Goalkeeper Harjoth Singh anticipated his weak push and hopped to the right side to take the shot on his body even as he fell on the right post.
Shers had another frustrating moment. Matthew Hotchkis struck what seemed a free hit deflection only to be disallowed after referral. The home crowd returned home happily knowing well that their Comets count more strongly now than ever before.
Schedule for March 9:
Chennai Cheetahs vs Pune Strykers at Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium, Chennai at 7 pm live on Neo Sport & Neo Cricket; Bhopal Badshahs vs Delhi Wizard, Bhopal, at 9 pm live on Neo Sports & Neo Cricket.