HOCKEY | Jharkhand bests Chandigarh in a clash that initially failed to live up to its billing

Prem Kerketta Prem rifles in Jharkhand’s opener against Chandigarh during the 13th Hockey India senior men’s National championship 2023 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Chennai, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

Prem Kerketta Prem rifles in Jharkhand’s opener against Chandigarh during the 13th Hockey India senior men’s National championship 2023 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Chennai, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.
| Photo Credit: M. VEDHAN

It was dubbed as the match to look out for in the Hockey India-13th Senior National men’s championship here on Wednesday. For, the winner would potentially top Group F and enter the quarterfinals.

The Jharkhand and Chandigarh contest on Wednesday, however, did not live up to expectations in the first two quarters as the score remained goalless. But in the remaining two quarters, the tie came to full life as Jharkhand scripted a fantastic 2-0 win.

From the third quarter, Jharkhand upped the ante with smart quick moves that took the Chandigarh defence by surprise. In one such counter-attack, Prem Kerketta converted from a melee in the box.

Jharkhand’s Anurud Bhengra celebrates after scoring the second goal against Chandigarh  during the 13th Hockey India senior men’s National championship 2023 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Chennai, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

Jharkhand’s Anurud Bhengra celebrates after scoring the second goal against Chandigarh during the 13th Hockey India senior men’s National championship 2023 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, Chennai, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.
| Photo Credit:
M. VEDHAN

Chandigarh had an excellent chance to equalise after it earned a penalty stroke soon after. In the subsequent video referral, the stroke was not awarded. Jharkhand effectively put it across Chandigarh after a fierce cross from the right by Joseph Kongari saw it being deftly deflected in by Anurad Bhengra.

Earlier, Bengal posted its second successive victory in a Group E tie, with a majestic 10-0 triumph over Jammu & Kashmir. Bengal will clash with Manipur on Thursday and the winner will top the group and enter the knockouts.

The results: Group A: Chhattisgarh 11 (Sukhdev Nirmalkar 4, 49, Junaid Ahmed 8, 34, 39, Khogeshwar Bag 9, 36, Arbaj Ali 20, Ajay Tandi 25, Taufiq Ahmad 38, Rohit Rajak 60) bt Gujarat 3 (Shubham Yadav 1, Ahir Jenishkumar 11, Ajaykumar Thakor 41).

Group C: Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Daman & Diu 7 (Anup Tirkey 25, Dharmendra Pal 27, 42, Prajapati Dhananjay 34, Abhinav Singh 40, Komal Singh 41, Arvind Yadav 53) bt Bihar 1 (Jony Kumar 57).

Group E: Bengal 10 (Rajendra Oram 4, 8, 27, 37, Alsem Lakra 30, 59, Kunjam Topno 38, Milan Saha 47, 49, Kishor Lakra 59) bt J&K 0.

Group F: Jharkhand 2 (Prem Kerketta 43, Anurad Bhengra 7) bt Chandigarh 0.

Group H: Telangana 15 (Mahesh Reddy Rela 4, 30, Aditya Sagar Gobboori 5, Ranjit Chand Bhavani 9, 59, Sandeep Subedar 15, 54, Arvind Lavudya 19, Abdul Moiz Shaik 20, 58, Raju Talla 21, 59, Akshay Thimmapuram 28, Sandeep Erapaga 39, Akshay Thimmapuram 48) bt Arunachal 0.

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