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Gagan Ajit scores sparkling hat-trick
September 14, 2005 17:02 IST
Indian striker Gagan Ajit Singh and Shahid Rabbani set the Hockey Club of Pakistan alight with hat-tricks that guided Capital Dynamos to a 7-4 victory over Shan-e-Punjab on the fifth evening of the Super Hockey League.
Gagan, who had struggled in earlier matches for cohesion and understanding with his new colleagues, was at his brilliant best on Tuesday when he outran and outsmarted a formidable Shan-e-Punjab defence that included Pakistan captain Mohammad Saqlain and Indian teammate Sandeep Singh to pump in goals in the 14th, 30th and 58th minutes.
Shahid Rabbani also dazzled with his speed and stick work to find the cage in the 26th, 40th and 68th minutes.
Waqas Akbar was the other scorer for the Dynamos, in the 57th minute.
Although Sandeep Singh ended up on the losing side, he did well to find himself on the scoring sheet by converting two of the 11 penalty-corners in the 23rd and 63rd minutes.
Shafqat Rasool, in the 18th minute, and Mohammad Saqlain, in the 65th, were the other scorers for Shan-e-Punjab.
But it was Man-of-the-Match Gagan Ajit who lived up to his reputation of being one the most dangerous strikers in world hockey by thoroughly entertaining a handsome crowd. He not only proved to be an opportunist by making optimum use of the opportunities that came his way, but was also available to help out the defence when the need arose.
In another thrilling contest, Arjun Halappa-inspired Northern Cavaliers came back from three goals down to upset Sindh Qalanders 4-3, thanks to a hat-trick by Pakistan penalty-corner executioner Mohammad Imran.
Sindh Qalanders, enjoying the services of India captain Dilip Tirkey, looked to be cruising to a comfortable victory with a 3-0 lead after 25 minutes.
Kashif Jawwad put the home team ahead in the fifth minute and Mohammad Shabbir scored twice in the 18th and 25 minutes.
But Mohammad Imran had other ideas when he converted three penalty-corners in a space of 12 minutes of the third quarter to level the game.
The match-winner came from Rehan Butt in the fourth quarter.