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World Series Hockey – Comets streak past Wizards by solitary goal

938   //    15 Mar 2012, 00:12 IST

Gurjinder Singh shone for the Chandigarh Comets by scoring the only goal of the match late in the day to help his side down Delhi Wizards at the National Stadium and move into third place of the Bridgestone World Series Hockey with 12 points as the eight-team league reached its halfway stage.

At the end of the first leg of the championship Sher-E-Punjab and Bhopal Badshahs are in the top two spots in that order with 13 points each while the capital side are in seventh spot with seven points from as many games, just one point ahead of cellar team Karnataka Lions.

Gurjinder’s deciding strike in the 64th minute from a penalty corner was his eighth goal in the championship and put him on par with Gurpreet Singh of Pune Strykers as the second highest scorer behind Chennai Cheetah’s Imran Warsi who leads the field with 12 strikes.

Both teams struggled to break the deadlock as chances were frittered at both ends with the hosts starting brightly but finding their magic fading out as the Comets discovered their shine as the game progressed. The winners took control of the proceedings to deservingly walk away with the honours. Their defence too played a great hand by giving the Wizards the fewest of openings to work their magic.

Led by Pakistani Shakeel Abassi, Delhi have only themselves to blame for their fourth defeat as they failed to take their chances and also get a grip on the game.  German forward Philip Sunkel especially, among others, could have helped his side take full points but was in a prodigal mood. Delhi had a final opportunity to draw level as the minutes ticked away but Rajpal Singh’s stiff hit was padded away by Chandigarh custodian Harjot Singh.

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Mario Rodrigues is a senior sports journalist and football & hockey writer. He is the author of the acclaimed biography of Ranjitsinhji titled ‘Batting for the Empire’.
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