Continuing their good run in the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL), Delhi Waveriders just about held out for a 4-3 win over Uttar Pradesh Wizards on the latter’s home turf at Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow on Saturday. With Simon Child scoring two goals in the win, Delhi Waveriders have further consolidated their lead at the top spot in the points table. They now have 29 points from eight matches while the Wizards are fourth with 16 points after six matches.
In an exciting contest, Delhi Waveriders dominated the proceedings in the first two quarters while the Wizards exercised an upper hand in the second-half. The hosts UP Wizards seemed to lack cohesion in the beginning. Talvinder Singh of Waveriders took advantage to score in the 8th minute. Next, Rupinder Pal Singh capitalised on a penalty corner to make it 2-0 in the first-quarter. In the second-quarter, Waveriders scored two more goals both from man-of-the-match Child. Child picked up the ball inside the area and slammed it home in the 19th minute and doubled his tally through a penalty-corner just a minute later.
However, the hosts did not give up hope. Dodging defenders, Nikkin Thimmaiah succeeded in bring down the margin in the 30th minute. Soon skipper VR Raghunath converting a 38th minute penalty-corner to make the score 4-2. Teun de Nooijer struck a well-timed goal in the 58th minute much to the joy of the home team fans as the game was on a knige-edge. However, despite some good efforts no more goals could be scored and Delhi Waveriders won the match. Wizards will have an immediate chance to turn their form around when they face Kalinga Lancers at home tomorrow.
A winning return
Redemption was on the cards for Sandeep Singh as he stepped up to slot home a penalty stroke for the Punjab Warriors when they took on hosts Mumbai Magicians at the Mahindra Stadium in Mumbai. The Warriors’ 4-1 win highlighted the return of the former Magicians drag-flicker, who visited Mumbai for the first time since he was off-loaded to the Mohali-based team; the reason given was that his defensive skills were lacking. Yet on the day, he made a nuisance of himself for opposition forwards and also contributed to his side’s defence by making several crucial tackles in the defensive third.
Sunday’s matches: UP Wizards vs Kalinga Lancers, Mumbai Magicians vs Ranchi Rhinos.