Deepak Thakur struck twice in the space of six minutes to power Sher-E-Punjab to a 3-2 victory over Mumbai Marines and move into the top position in the league table of the World Series Hockey in Mumbai.
The two-time Olympian beat his former India teammate Adrian D'Souza, under the Marines bar, twice in the 56th and 62nd minutes to help Punjab register a well-deserved victory.
Thakur's double strike put Punjab in front, before Devinder Walmiki's penalty corner strike two minutes from the hooter narrowed the margin of defeat for the Marines.
The first two goals of the well-fought contest at the MHA-Mahindra Stadium were notched by medio Tariq Aziz in the second minute for Punjab which was neutralised by Joga Singh's effort in the 12th minute of the match.
The victory took Punjab's points tally to 13 from seven games, the same as Bhopal Badshahs who were pushed to the second spot because of Punjab's superior goal difference.
The loss, their third in seven games, spoilt Marines hopes of rising from the fourth spot as they remained on 10 points.
In a well-contested clash, the visitors took a second minute lead when Pakistani Tariq Aziz pushed in from close before the Marines drew level 10 minutes later through their leading scorer Joga Singh, his sixth goal.
Punjab started strongly and stunned the home team with the early goal following a corner on the left. In a goalmouth melee, Pakistani Aziz squeezed the ball past Marines captain and custodian Adrian D'Souza.
The visiting team kept up the pressure on Mumbai with some fast-paced forays after taking the second minute lead and could have scored again following a defence-splitting through ball from Aziz to Mandeep Antil, who shot on the run just wide of the far post.