Badshahs off to a winning start
Bhopal Badshahs were off to a great start in the inaugural match of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey, clinching full three points.
The Badshahs beat Chandigarh Comets 4-3 in a thriller which went down to the wire, much to the joy of the packed Sector-42 Stadium in Chandigarh late Wednesday.
The last quarter witnessed four goals in a span of seven minutes, as Badshahs came from behind, firing all cylinders after trailing 1-2 at the end of the third quarter.
The scorers for the winners were Laxman Baskaran (6th and 63rd minute), Geowynee Kyle Gamiet (26th minute) and Affan Yousuf (61st minute) while Gurjinder Singh struck a brace (22nd minute and 57th minute) and Jasjit Kular Singh scored the other goal (29th minute).
Image: Chandigarh Comets players celebrate after scoring a goal
Four quarters rule introduced for the first time in Indian hockey
The match was played at a fast pace, the four quarters rule, introduced for the first time in Indian hockey, saw both the coaches try some interesting variations.
Badshahs started the match on an attacking note which brought them quick dividend. Skipper Sameer Dad and Casey Henwood controlled the game well for the visitors in the first quarter, but there was surprise in store for them.
The Comets began the second quarter aggressively and were able to sustain the pressure till the three-fourth of the match.
Comets impressed in almost all department in the next two quarters, creating havoc through their penalty-corner execution and shutting the door on the Badshahs completely.
Laxman scores the first goal in WSH
The pendulum oscillated again, as the astute Badshahs coach, Vasudevan Baskaran, brought out his trump cards to the final phase, and his boys kept their cool and dominated with superior ball possession and smart positional play.
The young Laxman, showed strong nerves and did not let the big stage affect his free style of playing or the fact that he was playing under his father as the coach.
For the record, Laxman scored the first goal in the inaugural edition of the tournament.
The World Series Hockey will be held from February 29 to April 2, 2012, and will involve 200 leading players -- Indian and international -- who will showcase their talent in 59 matches and vie for the biggest prize money hockey tournament in the world. The eight venues for the inaugural edition of the league are Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Pune.