WSH: Aiyappa's hat-trick gives Karnataka first win

 
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WSH: Aiyappa leads Karnataka to victory
Bangalore, Mar 7: Drag-flicker Len Aiyappa scored a hat-trick as hosts Karnataka Lions notched up a 3-2 victory over Chandigarh Comets in a World Series Hockey 2012 (WSH) match at the KSHA stadium here on Tuesday night.

Lying at the bottom of the table after three losses, Karnataka bounced back in style with a dominating performance with Aiyappa (12th minute, 20th, 27th) scoring all the three goals for his team.

Chandigarh Comets, who had lost their first two matches to Bhopal Badshahs and Chennai Cheetahs but bounced back to beat Mumbai Marines in their last match, scored through Ramandeep Singh (38th) and Bharat Chhikara (63th).

Chandigarh were slow in the field compared to the Lions and although they made penetrations their poor finishing let them down.

Penalty corner specialist Aiyappa put Karnataka ahead in the 12th minute when he converted their first short corner finding the right corner of the net with a fierce flick.

Chandigarh, however, squandered their first penalty corner and were lagging 0-1 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Naveen could have extended the lead early when he was perfectly set in position by Ravipal from the right flank but he failed to connect properly.

However, it culminated into a penalty corner and Len once again made use of the opportunity to make it 2-0 with a powerful flick in the 20th minute.

The comets tried to make some penetrations but skipper Rehan Butt was particular off-colour as he lost the possession of the ball on many occasions.

Sukhwinder Singh Gabbar came closest to scoring for Comets in the second quarter but his shot was inaccurate.

Eight minutes off the second quarter, the Lions earned another penalty corner and Len once again made it count with a scorching grounded flick.

Three minutes into the third quarter, Chandigarh finally brought up the equaliser when Ramandeep fed by Butt from the right flank found the cage with a reverse hit.

In the 56th minute in the fourth quarter, the Lions gained another penalty corner but this time the Comets were successful in averting a goal.

Seven minutes off the hooter, Chandigarh brought up another goal when Chikara's strike found rival player Zeeshan Ashraf's stick and went inside the cage.

Chandigarh could have drawn parity when they were awarded two successive short corners in the fading moments but they failed to utilise the chances and succumbed to their third loss in four matches.

Mumbai Marines beat Chennai Cheetahs

In Chennai, Mumbai Marines notched up a 4-2 victory over hosts Chennai Cheetahs to put their campaign back on track in the Bridgestone World Series Hockey tournament here on Tuesday.

With both teams having lost their previous games earlier, the Mumbai team dominated the proceedings for most part of the match scoring through Davinder Valmiki (12th), Anup Anthony (24th), Ajmer Singh (48th) and Bimal Lakra (52nd).

Cheetahs scored through Imran Warsi (4th) and Sunil Yadav (68th).
Mumbai post 4-2 win over Chennai in WSH

Playing their third match in four days, Cheetahs looked tired and jaded after arriving here from Delhi this morning while Mumbai registered their second win in four matches.

Chennai tasted their second defeat today in four outings, having lost to Sher-E-Punjab last night. They had won against Chandigarh Comets and Delhi Wizards.

Today's Matches (March 7)

7.00 pm Sher-E-Punjab vs Delhi Wizards (Jalandhar)

9.00 pm Pune Strykers vs Bhopal Badshahs (Pune)

PTI

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