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India rout Pakistan in second Test
September 27, 2004 18:50 IST
Last Updated: September 27, 2004 19:28 IST
India beat Pakistan 4-1 in the second hockey Test to square the four-match series 1-1 in Quetta on Monday.
India had lost the first match 1-2.
The victory was India first over Pakistan in eight matches.
Penalty-corner ace Sandeep Singh put the Indians two goals up, scoring in the 13th and 17th minutes before Ignace Tirkey increased the tally in the 33rd minute.
Tushar Khandekar made it 4-0 in the 60th minute before Sohail Abbas reduced the margin for the Pakistanis a minute from the hooter, scoring from the team's fifth penalty-corner.
India seemed under a lot of pressure when the match started at the Gen. Musa Stadium, hosting a major tie after a long time, but they got into a rhythm as the match progressed.
But more than India's brilliance, it was the waywardness of the Pakistanis that led to their shock defeat.
The Indians got themselves into a position of strength in the first half itself when Sandeep Singh scored two goals in a span of three minutes, both coming from penalty-corners, before Ignace Tirkey hammered home for a 3-0 lead.
Sandeep, who had a tremendous outing in the junior Asia Cup, where he was the tournament top scorer, brought an end to a lean patch at the highest level with the twin strikes, outwitting Pakistani goalkeeper Salman Akbar on both occasions.
The youngster from Haryana, expected to fill in the shoes of expert drag flicker Jugraj Singh, scored from the first two penalty corners the side got in the first 17 minutes.
Akbar, who was expecting high flicks from Sandeep on both the occasions, was foxed when the Indian beat him with clever carpet flicks, much to the delight of the visitors.
Pakistan looked like staging a fightback briefly when they made some dangerous moves from both the wings and in the process earned a couple of penalty-corners in the 23rd and 30th minutes.
But the hosts' hopes of reducing the margin came to naught after goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza charged out to effect fine saves on both the occasions -- first from a variation and again from a powerful drag-flick from Sohail Abbas, the world's second highest goal scorer behind Holland's Paul Litjens.
The Indians made life difficult for the Pakistanis further when Ignace scored in the 33rd minute from a fine counter move.
Vivek Gupta's hit into the Pakistan circle was well stopped by Arjun Halappa, whose reverse pass was used to the maximum effect by Igance, who unleashed a rasping hit that beat Akbar all ends up.
The proceedings were marked by some end-to-end hockey in the second half as Pakistan pressed hard to make inroads into the Indian defence.
The visitors suffered a jolt when key midfielder Viren Rasquinha was temporarily suspended for an infringement in the 55th minute.
However, Pakistan failed to take advantage of a 10-man team even though they managed to win two penalty-corners. But Dilwar Hussain was unable to stop Rehan Butt's pushes from the set-pieces.
Young forward Khandekar, who had an outstanding game today, deservedly hit the last nail in Pakistan's coffin with a goal in the 60th minute to seal the fate of the match.