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Hockey 9s: India, Pakistan in thrilling draw

October 21, 2011 20:08 IST

India produced an improved show after their opening match loss to New Zealand in a thrilling 1-1 draw with arch-rivals Pakistan, in the Lanco International Super Series Hockey 9s in Perth on Friday.

India, beaten by New Zealand 3-6 on Thursday, were the more dominant for most of the fast-paced match, but lucky not to lose, as Pakistan wasted a penalty-stroke.

Substitute goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, who replaced captain Bharat Chetri in the second half, saved the stroke, taken by Waseem Ahmad a couple of minutes before the final hooter.

Sreejesh came out early and made a neat clearance, much to the relief of the tense Indian camp.

It was Pakistan who scored first, in the 12th minute, through veteran Waseem Ahmad as he gently pushed the ball home from close.

But Pakistan's lead lasted less than a minute, as Ravi Pal restored parity with a diving reverse stick shot after Manjit Kullu and V Raghnath combined to serve the ball upfront.

The goal was Pal's second in the tournament.

India had chances to take the lead in the second session, but Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah thwarted Sunil and Tushar Kandkar.

In the final minutes, India had another chance, but Yuvraj Walmiki failed to put the ball it past the goalkeeper.