Karnataka [ Images ] Lions caused the biggest upset in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey, beating leaders Sher-E-Punjab 2-1 at the KSHA stadium, in Bangalore, on Friday.
The result was arguably the strongest re-affirmation of the topsy-turvy nature of this action-packed tournament.
The hero of the victory was Len Aiyappa.
The former India [ Images ] player scored twice from penalty-corners to enable the Lions, struggling at the bottom for most part of the league, snatch a well-deserved victory.
With their fifth victory, Karnataka Lions climbed two rungs, and are now conveniently placed at fourth in the points table.
Aiyappa stunned goalkeeper Sukhjeet Singh with a high flick to put the Lions ahead as early as the sixth minute, and again came to the team's rescue -- after Harpreet Singh cancelled out his first goal in the 39th minute -- with a second stunner in the 58th minute.
Nikkin Thimmiah stars for Strykers
In the day's other match, Nikkin Thimmiah took centrestage as Pune Strykers beat Mumbai [ Images ] Marines 4-2.
Thimmiah fired two scintillating goals in the space of three minutes to turn the match in Pune's favour after it was tantalizingly poised at 2-2.Banmali Xess and Aijub Ekka grabbed half chances that came their way to put Mumbai ahead, but Gurpeet Singh and Mario Almada restored parity in the second quarter, leaving Thimmiah to showcase his skills.