Ipoh: World champions Australia showed their class with a 5-1 thrashing of Pakistan to maintain their unbeaten streak in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh on Monday.
For Australia, Simon Orchard (23rd and 41st minutes) and Jason Wilson (31st and 55th) struck twice each while Christopher Ciriello found the target in the 51st minute. Sohail Abbas scored the lone goal for Pakistan in the 27th minute. In another round robin match, Britain defeated New Zealand 3-1 to move to the top of the table.
Britain's three victories in four outings gave them nine points while Australia are on second spot with seven points from three matches, having won two and drawing the game against India.
Pakistan, who started with wins in their first two matches, have now suffered two successive defeats and now have six points from four matches.
Australia's speedy strikers exerted enormous pressure on Pakistan defence, which crumbled in the second session to concede three soft goals.
After both teams forced a penalty corner each, Australia took the lead through a penalty stroke that seemed harsh. Simon Orchard duly converted the stroke in the 23rd minute. Pakistan bounced back with an equaliser in the 27th minute from a penalty corner conversion by Sohail Abbas, who sent a soaring drag-flick into the roof of the net.
Pakistan's joy was short-lived as Australia took the lead once again one minute before half-time through an outstanding goal by Jason Wilson, who was unmarked when he got the ball on top of the circle and left the goalkeeper stunned with his stinging shot.
The second half saw Australia lay a virtual seize on the Pakistan territory, scoring goals through Orchard, Christopher Ciriello and Jason Wilson as the Pakistan defence wilted under pressure.
Orchard's flash strike, after getting a diagonal pass inside the scoring zone, produced his second goal of the game in the 41st minute, while Ciriello got Australia their only goal from five penalty corners when he swept the ball into the net in the 50th minute.
Wilson rounded off Australia's scoring in the 55th minute through a reflex shot after picking up a cross from the right flank.
Australian coach Ric Charlesworth was pleased with his team's show on Monday, after being held to a 1-1 draw by India on Sunday.
"We were rusty coming into a tournament after a long break, and we'll get better as we go on," said Charlesworth. "We're testing a lot of our young players here. That's a good experiment," he added.