Waveriders beat Magicians, extend lead in HIL

New Delhi, Feb 6: Delhi Waveriders bagged five points from their 2-1 win over Mumbai Magicians at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Thursday to extend their lead on top of the Hockey India League (HIL) standings.

The Waveriders now sit pretty on top of the standings with 24 points from seven matches ahead of second-placed Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who are on 18. Meanwhile, sixth and last Magicians took home a point from their loss. Teams losing with less than a two-goal difference are awarded a point in this tournament.

The first quarter started on an unproductive note with neither side taking too many initiatives, having a safety-first approach. But early in the second quarter Akashdeep Singh put the hosts on the board with a reverse flick after a brilliant run from Lloyd Norris-Jones provided him the pass.

The South African saw an empty field and led a counter-attack, evading two Magicians defenders and made a short pass to Akashdeep, who did not disappoint the home crowd in the 21st minute.

A few minutes later it started to drizzle heavily but that did not affect the morale of the Magicians, who were eager to equalise. Just towards halftime, England’s Mark Gleghorne had a brilliant chance to level the match but his shot went just above the bar.

The Mumbai-based team had several chances in the third quarter and their persistence finally bore fruit when a shot at the goal was rebounded by Waveriders custodian Nicolas Jacobi, only to be pushed in by Magicians skipper Glenn Turner of Australia.

The hosts earned the first penalty corner of the match in the 59th minute but Rupinder Pal Singh’s down-the-ground drag-flick hit was perfectly deflected by David Harte in the Magicians goal.

Both teams displayed high intensity hockey and counter-attacked each other on every chance they got in the last 10 minutes. Waveriders skipper and playmaker Sardar Singh was also in his elements creating several chances but the Magicians defence proved to be quite strong.

But four minutes from the close of play Waveriders’ forward Yuvraj Walmiki was at the right place when a pass came his way to put his team 2-1 ahead. The 24-year-old had also scored for the Waveriders in Wednesday’s game against the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.

It could have been anyone’s game with such aggressive hockey but the Waveriders held on to the scoreline to come out on top.

Result: Delhi Waveriders beat Dabur Mumbai Magicians 2-1.

IANS