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Indian colts win second Test
March 03, 2004 19:00 IST
India survived some anxious moments to defeat Malaysia 4-2 in the second match of the PNB Junior 'Test' series between the countries at the Shivaji stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.
The hosts played lacklustre hockey for a better part of the 70 minutes but scored thrice in the last 13 minutes to not only rally back from a one-goal deficit but also make the scoreline look flattering.
With the victory, the Indians too an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series. They won the first Test 4-1 on Tuesday.
The next match will be played at the same venue on Friday while the fourth and final tie will be at Chandigarh.
Penalty-corner specialist Jitender Pal Singh scored a brace (11th and 69th minutes) while V Raja (58th) and Birindera Lakra (59th) netted once each for the winners.
Jivan Mohan (49th) and P Prahbakaran (56th) sounded the board for the visitors.
It was a below par performance by the Indian colts, who won the first match 4-1, as they lacked any kind of game plan and combination for the entire first half.
The Indians came close to taking the lead in the fourth minute but a drag-flick by Jitender was deflected off the goalkeeper and hit the post.
But the young lad, who plays for Punjab and Sind Bank, made no mistake with the second penalty-corner as he went for a hard push along the ground to beat the Malaysian custodian.
The visitors on the other hand won five penalty-corners in the first half but failed to convert any.
Trailing by a goal, the Malaysians went into the second session in full throttle and were rewarded with a penalty-corner in the 48th minute. With the umpire showing the yellow card to defender Sandeep Singh for leaving the goal line before the ball was pushed on a couple of occasions, Malaysia's penalty-corner specialist Mohan, took full advantage of the Indian mindset to restore parity with a low push.
The visitors were lucky to take the lead in the 56th minute as a strong hit by Megat Azrafiq found the stick of Prahbakaran and went into the goal.
The deficit worked as a wake up call for the Indians and they came back strongly, with Girish Pimpale scoring the equaliser just two minutes later.
Lakra then put India into the lead just a minute later when he capped off a brilliant run by Tushar Khandekar from the left.
A minute from the hooter, Jitender completed the scoreline with a clean drag-flick from a penalty-corner.