WSH India XI and WSH World XI dished out splendid hockey in an exhibition match at the floodlit Sector 42 Hockey Stadium here tonight. As Indians displayed finishing touches and relatively poor defence, WSH World XI outclassed the hosts in the last two quarters to register a well-merited 7-2 verdict after sharing honours at the end of the first two quarters which ended in 2-all draw.
Both teams utilized the rolling substitute to give their players rest at regular intervals. However, WSH World XI translated this rule to their maximum advantage.
WSH World XI scored through Joseph Reardon (10th), Roderik Huber (32nd), Connon Grimes (38th), Pheiie Maguire (40th), Peter Kelly (55th, 59th ) and David Seddon (67th PC). For WSH India XI Deepk Thakur (17th) and Dhanraj Pillay (28th).
In initial burst, WSH World XI initiated a dangerous move. Chris Seddon cut into the striking circle from the left flank and sent the ball across the goal line with a powerful reverse shot. Before Benedikt Sperling could do any damage, Olympian Harpal Singh cleared the ball.
Mounting more pressure and with quick exchange of passes Joseph Reardon scored from a close range to put his team ahead in the 10th minute.
WSH India XI retaliated and engineered a couple of good moves but a tough WSH World XI kept them at bay. However just before the end of the first quarter, local lad Inderjit Chadha gave a forward pass to dashing Deepak Thakur who scored the equalizer in a smooth action to the cheers of the local spectators.
Soon after the start of the second quarter, Gabbar Singh of Canada took a hot shot from the right flank from top of the striking circle. The ball travelled across the goalline without causing any threat. Indian captain Prabhjot Singh sprinted down the left flank before entering the striking circle in the 19th minute. However, an alert WSH World XI goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan had anticipated the move and advanced to break the move.
Mercurial Dhanraj Pillay displayed his class as he guided the ball into the goal in a swift action after Deepak Thakur had taken a fine shot in the 28thd minute. The move was initiated by Birendra Lakar from the left flank. WSH World XI again pressed hard and neutralized through Rederik Huber of Holland in the 32nd minute.
On crossing over, the WSH World XI fired two quick goals to shatter the Indian players aspiration. The WSH World XI mounted relentless pressure and playing an attacking game thrilled the spectators. They pumped in two goals in a span of five minutes through Canadian Connor Grimes and Phelie Maguire. WSH World XI established a good 4-2 lead at the end of third quarter.
In the last two quarters, the Indians were kept on their toes with their onslaught. Australian Peter Kelly gave a dazzling display and scored two goals in a span of four minutes. His first goal came in the 55th minute and completed his brace in the 59th minute with a splendid goal.
The aggressive WSH World XI players were awarded three penalty corners in quick succession. After muffing two, WSH World XI rounded of their tally when English player David Seddon scored their seventh goal with a powerful drag flick.
WSH India XI: Baljit Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Diwakar Ram, Harpal Singh, Prabhdh Tirkey, Jswinder Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, Deepak Thakur, Bikash Toppo, Preetinderpal Singh, Sher Singh.
WSH World XI: Devesh Chauhan, Livermore Brent (captain), Robert Green, Jiwas Mohan, Gunther Mik, Benediki Sperling, Chris Seddon, Melchior Looijen, Eli Mathenson, Jesse Mahieu, Connors Grimes.
Umpires: Parnam Singh and Bhupinder Singh.