Ipoh (Malaysia), Aug 29: Penalty corner exponents Rupinderpal Singh and VR Raghunath slammed a hat-trick each as India mauled Bangladesh 9-1 to maintain their unbeaten run ahead of the semifinals in the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh on Wednesday.
The Indians, who were through to the semifinals even before the match, led 5-1 at the half-time and pumped in four more goals in the second session to stamp their authority over their lowly opponents.
Rupinderpal (4th, 19th, 27th, 61st minutes) scored four goals in the match, out of which three came via penalty corners, while Raghunath (29th, 52nd, 59th) converted short corners to emerge as the joint top-scorer of the tournament with Jang Jong Hyun of South Korea on six goals apiece.
Nikkin Thimmaiah (25th) and Mandeep Singh (47th) were the other goal-getters for India.
Bangladesh's lone goal came from the stick of their skipper Md Mamunur Rahman Chayan (35th minute).
By virtue of this win, the Indians finished on top of Pool B with nine points from three games. Defending champions South Korea are second in this pool with six points.
India will now face Pool A runners-up and hosts Malaysia in the second semifinal on Friday, while South Korea will be up against Pool A toppers Pakistan.
The match between India and Bangladesh started nearly 40 minutes late as the first game of the day between Korea and Oman was delayed due to heavy downpour in the evening.
Playing under persistent drizzle and damp conditions, the Indians meant business from the beginning. Such was their dominance that they earned as many as 10 penalty corners in the match, out of which they utilised six.
The Indians were under no pressure as they played free-flowing hockey to put the Bangladeshi defence under constant pressure.
For the sparse crowd present at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, there was excitement from the very beginning as it rained goals in the match.