Delhi Waveriders and Ranchi Rays played out a goal-less draw to share four points between them in a pulsating encounter of the fifth edition of the Hockey India League in Ranchi on Saturday.
The first quarter was dominated by Delhi Waveriders who started strong with better ball possession. Through incisive passing, Delhi Waveriders started breaking down the Ranchi Rays defence each time they launched a counter.
The first chance fell to Talwinder Singh who sent a fierce reverse hit in the 3rd minute but Ranchi goalkeeper Tyler Lovell came off the line quickly and blocked the shot to deny the visitors the lead.
The pressure paid off soon enough though. Mandeep Singh won Delhi Waveriders their first penalty corner of the game, thanks to sloppy defence within the circle by Ranchi Rays. From the flick, Austin Smith made a hard push but could not beat the goalkeeper as the two teams went into the first break in a stalemate.
Delhi Waveriders showed their resilience coming back from the two-minute break, discomforting Ranchi Rays who made as many as seven circle penetrations into the striking circle but in vain.
It seemed as though fortunes would change in the third quarter when Delhi Waveriders' Simon Child appealed for a high-ball coming off Gurbaj's stick within the striking circle through video referral. His appeal was upheld and the visitors were handed a penalty corner.
This time, skipper Rupinder Pal Singh took the strike but Ranchi Rays goalkeeper Lovell was on top of his game and so was Ranchi Rays defender Flynn Ogilvie with some superb stick work to ensure that they denied Delhi Waveriders a lead.
The battle for supremacy continued into the final quarter with both teams pressing hard and chances flying both ways.
Ranchi Rays missed a sure shot winner when Gurbaj failed to send an accurate pass to Ashley Jackson who had positioned himself perfectly to deflect the ball into the goal.
The teams had to settle with a draw and split the points from the encounter.
Image: Action from the Hockey India League match played between Ranchi Rays and Delhi Waveriders on Saturday