Pune Strikeres hold Sher-e-Punjab to a draw

Jalandhar: Star striker Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh helped home side Sher-e-Punjab build a comfortable lead but were forced to settle for a 3-3 draw with the hitherto undefeated Pune Strykers in the World Series Hockey at the Olympian Surjit Hockey stadium here on Sunday.

Tornado striker that Deepak Thakur was, and still is a cynosure of all eyes on his home ground giving finishing touches to the early onslaught of Shers but young Bikas Toppo too emulated the senior in coming with a similar brace of goals late in the play time.

Deepak, who seemed to miss some easy opportunities in the beginning, recovered quickly to put Shers in an unassailable position with two sharp goals in the third minute of the first quarter and then two minutes before the second.

Prabhjot Singh, besides setting up Deepak, struck once in the first minute of fourth quarter.

The first two Deepak’s goals coming amidst panic, Pune defence had unsettled the Pune team that entered the Jalandhar field against the backdrop of winning previous two tight matches.

It was the forwardline of Shers, consisting of Matthews, Deepak and Prabhjot that doused the Pune’s heat before it spread wild fire in Jalandhar.

The story would have been different had a Bikas’ forehand that he effortlessly punched in the first minute of second quarter, found home.

The whiplash of a shot just missed the right post much to the chagrin of the Pune side.

Third quarter entirely belonged to Pune.