HANDIGARH: What looked to be a dull affair in the chilly winter afternoon during the Tier II match on Thursday, keeping the crowd at bay, turned out to be fairly interesting during the inaugural Tier I match between defending champions Hyderabad Sultans and Maratha Warriors under floodlights as people braved out the cold conditions and turned up to cheer the teams in appreciable number.
And they weren’t let down as they got to see action in plenty with some of the top hockey stars showcasing their talent on the field. The evergreen Dhanraj Pillay turned out to be the tormentor for the Sultans as his agility and passes left the opponents puzzled, more so when the veteran was playing the second match of the daythe first being the finals of Surjit Memorial Tournament which his team, Indian Airlines won early in the day at Jalandhar.
The match began with a bang as Hyderabad Sultans were awarded penalty corner in the very second minute which was wasted by drag flicker Lombi. The spectators got to see Dhanraj’s stick work as early as in the 4th minute of the game where he managed to dodge the Sultans’ players, dribbling the ball with a single hand. Thereafter, it were the Warriors who kept possession of the ball for most of the first quarter. A move in the 15th minute through pass made by Viren Rasquinha to Lodewijk De Brujin into the striking circle earned them a penalty corner.
Results: Tier I: Maratha Warriors (2) (Shivendra Singh, Hemant Ghethe) bt Hyderabad Sultans (1) (Devender Singh); Tier II: Orissa Steelers (2) (Rajesh Chauhan, Sunil Ekka) bt Delhi Dazzlers (0).
SOURCE:THE TIMES OF INDIA