Deepak Thakur struck twice as Sher-e-Punjab staved off a good challenge from hosts Bhopal Badhshahs to score a close 3-2 win in their World Series Hockey match here today.
Both the teams appeared jittery in the first quarter as they struggled to trap passes but as the match progressed,Punjab players found rhythm and went on to dominate the proceedings for most part of the match.
Deepak (17th) put his team ahead in the dying minutes of the first quarter while Samer Dad had scored the second goal of the match,an equaliser for his side,in the 23th minute.
Harpreet also scored for Punjab and Deepak then scored his second goal in 45th minutes to again give his side lead.
Trailing 1-3 in the fourth and final quarter,Lalit (58) brought Bhopal back in the game when a brilliant effort resulted in a field goal.
The hosts survived a scare when they faced a penalty corner and managed to save it when only eight minutes were to go in the match.
Bhopal earned penalty corner when Sameer was stopped by Punjab defenders in an objectionable manner. The Bhopal players were Sameer Das missed out again as he failed to connect a pass from Baljinder on well planned move with the ball missing the goal just by a few inches.