Ranchi: Table leaders Delhi Waveriders Friday extended their invincible run in the Hockey India League as they trounced Ranchi Rhinos 5-2, at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium, here.
The Waveriders have nearly sealed their place in the semi-finals with 39 points, 10 more than second-placed Rhinos.
Rhinos’ defence, without their star defender Birendra Lakra, had an off day as Gurwinder Singh Chandi scored a brace, while Simon Child, Rupinder Pal Singh and Gurbaj Singh scored a goal each for Waveriders.
Ranchi Rhinos started the game with Sushant Tirkey in the goal instead of Cortes, and the move backfired terribly.
In the third minute, Chandi got a good ball in the left flank, but miss-timed his strike. The ball came at a very slow pace and Tirkey who was trying to kick the ball out, missed it, giving visitors an early lead.
Four minutes later, another mistake by Tirkey and some superb skills by Waveriders’ forwards, made it 2-0 for Bansal’s team.
Waveriders delivered another blow to the hosts in the second quarter.
Just a minute after Rhinos had missed out scoring on their second penalty corner, Akashdeep gave a brilliant pass to Chandi who was charging in the left flank. Chandi made a fabulous diving connection and managed to generate good pace to beat Cortes.
Shocked by a three-goal deficit, Rhinos finally found their scoring touch in the 23rd minute, through Nick Wilson.
But Rupinder Pal Singh restored Waveriders' three-goal lead with a fierce drag-flick. And then, the game ended as a contest when Gurbaj scored Waveriders’ fifth goal in the 50th minute.
The home fans had something to cheer about in the final quarter, with Manpreet Singh scoring off a penalty corner. (Agencies)