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Badshahs sink Marines to keep hopes alives

  • Bhopal Badshahs beat Mumbai Marines 2-1
  • Affan Yousuf and Mudassar Ali score for the winning team
  • Sandeep Michael scores the lone goal for Marines

Bhopal Badshahs beat Mumbai Marines 2-1 to keep their hopes alive for the semifinals in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey here on Sunday. The win catapulted the Badshahs to fourth place in the leauge ahead of strong contenders Chennai Cheetahs and Pune Strykers.

The tournament is still open and only one team can feel secured about their place in the semifinals – Sher-E-Punjab. The Jalandhar-based team are comfortably perched at the top with 25 points from 12 matches, Chandigarh Comets are next after them with 19 points while Karnataka Lions have 18 points and now the Badshahs have secured 17 points. The calculators are out for virtually every match now onwards and it’s against such pressure that the Badshahs-Marines match was played. Continue reading →

Nikkin Thimmaiah stars in Strykers 4-2 win

  • Youngster fires two goals in three minutes as Pune Strykers beat Mumbai Marines 4-2
  • Gurpreet Singh (28 min), Mario Almada (34th min), Nikkin Thimmiah (43rd & 45th mins) score for Strykers
  • Banmali Xess (15th min) and Aijub Ekka (27th min) score for Marines

The inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey has witnessed the emergence of many new stars in the past three weeks when the ball started rolling. This time, it was the young talented forward from Pune Strykers, Nikkin Thimmiah, who took the centrestage in the match against neighbours Mumbai Marines here on Friday. Thimmiah fired two scintillating goals in the space of three minutes to turn the match in Pune’s favour after it was tantalizingly poised at 2-2, for a heartwarming 4-2 win for the hosts.

Colts Banmali Xess and Aijub Ekka, working hard upfront, grabbed half chances that came their way to account for the both goals that Marines scored in the pulsating match. But Gurpeet Singh and Mario Almada restored parity in the second quarter, leaving Nikkin to showcase his skills for a fluent win.  Continue reading →

Delhi Wizards survive late onslaught from Mumbai Marines for a narrow 2-1 win

  • Vikramjeet Singh (15th min) and Shakeel Abbasi (35th min) struck for Delhi Wizards
  • Ajmer Singh scored for the losing Mumbai Marines in the 15th minute.

Stakes were high when Delhi Wizards met Mumbai Marines on Monday. With identical three wins and a draw after eight matches, both teams had ten points and were running neck to neck perched respectively in the sixth and seventh place in the points table.

Against the backdrop, both teams showed enough urgency to churn out another of excellent encounter that held the stands in rapture throughout the seventy minutes of game at Major Dhyan Chand National stadium.

Delhi Wizards, despite a stroke not surviving referral, survived many tense moments before sneaking through for a narrow but deserving 2-1 victory over the marauding but luckless Marines.  Continue reading →

Halappa inspires Lions’ impressive comeback

  • Arjun Halappa leads from the front with a brace as Karnataka Lions beat Mumbai Marines 4-2
  • Joga Singh and Bimal Lakra reduce the margin for Marines

It required a great effort to inspire the pre-tournament favourites who had hit a lean patch, to discover their form. Karnataka Lions finally discovered their form, and the inspiration came from none other than skipper Arjun Halappa, who struck the first two goals to virtually take the match away from Mumbai Marines.

For the record, the Lions beat Marines 4-2, but this match will be remembered for Lions’ valiant comeback in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey, though it remains to be seen if this win will trigger a complete makeover for them.

The skilful Halappa was the man behind their resurgence against Mumbai Marines, who had shot into the lead through Joga Singh. Ironically, Joga’s goal had sealed the Lions’ fate in the first round, and on this occasion he latched on to a penalty corner rebound from goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan to bring up the first goal in the sixth minute. Continue reading →

It’s Punjabi tadka over Mumbai bhelpuri

This was sizzling hockey at its best – Sher-E-Punjab are known for their attacking hockey while rivals Mumbai Marines are reputed to be one of the toughest team in the Bridgestone World Series Hockey with a very disciplined outfit. Their tie was expected to be a high-voltage clash, and the jam-packed MHA Mahindra Stadium wasn’t disappointed with the fast-paced fare dished out by both teams, though in the end the visitors, Sher-E-Punjab finally won 3-2.

The crowd was stunned as Sher-e-Punjab’s Pakistani import Tariq Aziz struck in the very first minute even before they had settled in their seats. The Shers began in an aggressive manner and the very first move from the left flank brought dividend as the ball came off a defender stick in a goalmouth melee, and the unmarked Aziz pushed the ball into the net for a sensational start. Star striker Deepak Thakur struck twice in the last quarter to seal the match for the Shers. Though, Joga Singh, the livewire for the Marines today, struck the equalizer in the 12th minute and talented youngster Devender Walmiki converted his penalty corner just two minutes before the hooter, the match was over by then for the hosts.  Continue reading →

It’s raining goals in the Bridgestone WSH

  • Young Indian hockey players are playing attacking hockey and not goal shy
  • Players exhibit high standard of fitness
  • There are around 9-10 penalty-corner specialists playing in the league
Len Aiyappa in Action for Karnataka Lions

Len Aiyappa in Action for Karnataka Lions

New Delhi, March 12: A total of 128 goals have been scored in 24 matches till now in the inaugural Bridgestone World Series Hockey. It’s a brilliant sign for Indian hockey – that if given an opportunity to excel with international players in an open (four quarters of 17 ½ minutes each) and competitive format, young Indian hockey players have the hunger and passion to become a winner.

The floodgates were opened right in the first match – the Bhopal Badshahs- Chandigarh Comets clash produced seven goals in a tie which ended around midnight. After 24 matches, the trend is growing at a stunning pace, with an average of  5+ goals per match. For a nation known for producing brilliant attacking hockey but being perennially goal shy, this is a path-breaking trend. Continue reading →