Jalandhar: The home crowd had plenty of reasons to celebrate as
favourites Sher-E-Punjab launched their campaign in the World Series
Hockey (WSH) in style, winning 5-2 win against Chennai Cheetahs here on
The scoreline didn't really do justice to the close
tussle which took place on the field here at the Surjeet Singh Hockey
For Sher-E-Punjab, the scorers were Mandeep Antil (7th
minute), Harpreet Nagra (34th minute), Prabhjot Singh (49th & 70th
minutes) and Gagan Ajit Singh (57th minute) while Pakistani star Imran
Warsi struck a brace for the Cheetahs, both his goals coming off
drag-flicks in the 24th and 63 minute respectively.
For the last
46 minutes, the Chennai Cheetahs forwards and midfield twisted and turned
with the ball only to find themselves confronted by an impenetrable
thicket of blue-shirted Sher-E-Punjab defenders.
During that time
the Shers extended their scoreline to 4-1 after taking an early lead with
a suave Mandeep Antil goal that seemed to preface a night of dominance.
Skipper Prabhjot's talent as a dribbler and a provocateur proved decisive
in giving his side the handsome win.
Chennai had two clear
chances to make a comeback in the first half but they conceded a penalty
stroke with one minutes remaining for the interval.
star Deepak Thakur was obstructed from taking a clear shot at the goal and
the umpire had no hesitation to point towards the dreaded spot. Harpreet
Nagra made his entry into the record book by converting the first penalty
stroke of the WSH.
For Chennai, there were no such clear-cut
openings in the second half despite their strategy to deploy five players
in the rival D.
Striker Gagan Ajit Singh celebrated his
daughter's fourth birthday with a cracker - it was a trademark Gagan
scorcher from top of the D, which went racing past the hapless Cheetah
goalkeeper Jasbir Singh.
Interestingly, the moment the ball
reached Gagan, the spectators started applauding in anticipation of a
thundering shot for goal number four.