Milestones in Cheetahs-Strykers thriller
Minz scores 100th goal of inaugural WSH; Warsi takes personal tally to 10, as match ends in 3-3 draw
In an action-packed match that produced high quality hockey, Chennai Cheetahs began with a bang as local star, Adam Sinclair, struck in the very first minute to bring the crowd to its feet as they gave a standing applause to the home team, but Pune Strykers silenced the vociferous crowd immediately with Roshan Minz scoring the 100th goal of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey in the 6th minute here on Friday.
Fortunes fluctuated later on as Chennai led twice again but with a resilient Pune Strykers striking back, the thrilling and exciting match ended in a 3-3 draw.
The crowd enjoyed the match which produced high-speed vintage hockey. Cheetahs frontline combined well and worked like a well-oiled machine and with the half-line creating enough through balls, their Pakistani star and penalty corner specialist, Syed Imran Warsi, made up his first-quarter miss to score from the team's second short corner as he sent home a powerful flick to put Cheetahs in the lead once again in the 30th minute.
However, Pune Strykers, switched up gears to dish out thrilling and fast hockey that gave some anxious moments to the home team. They sustained the pressure to produce an equaliser once again and on the stroke of half time. It was 2-2 for Pune Strykers as Bikas Toppo swept home into an open goal as a brilliant pass from the right, by a hard-working Mario Almada, beat the rival goalkeeper and a defender.
Cheetahs rose to the occasion once again with a superb raid and the set-piece specialist from Pakistan, Imran Warsi, made it 3-2 to help Chennai gain lead for the third time and in the process increased his individual tally to 10 goals.
With Chennai defending in numbers, Pune Strykers showed urgency in the circle and their repeated thrusts upfront got them the equaliser yet again. They missed the first short corner but forced the third and final corner in the 65th minute, and Simrandeep Randhawa took the strike and his low drag flick beat Chennai custodian Jasbir Singh (3-3).
Schedule: March 10: Chennai Cheetahs vs Karnataka Lions at Chennai; 7pm; Bhopal Badshahs vs Sher-E-Punjab at Bhopal, 9pm. Live on Neo Sports & Neo Cricket