Hyderabad Sultans win PHL title

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/H/Hockeygen.jpg' class='caption'> The Hyderabad Sultans have won the title at India's inaugural Premier Hockey League.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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The Hyderabad Sultans have won the title at India's inaugural Premier Hockey League. The hosts topped the tier one points table with 19 points from 8 matches. Sher-e-Jalandhar finished second on 14 points with the Maratha Warriors taking third place. Len Aiyappa of the Bangalore hi-fliers was as the highest goal scorer of the tournament with 8 goals. Shaky start With Sher-e-Jalandhar just two points behind the Hyderabad Sultans in the tier one points table, the last match of the PHL was like a virtual final. But it didn't start too well for the hosts with captain Dilip Tirkey injured in the first quarter and out of the rest of the match. But his absence was made up for by former Pakistan captain Wasim Ahmed whose deft stickwork set up the Sultans' first goal - Samir Dad finishing it off to make it 1-0. Jalandhar missed several opportunities for the equaliser, but were eventually successful with Deepak Thakur tapping in a cross from Didar Singh. With the score level at 1-1 in the last quarter, it looked as though the match was headed for extra-time. But Inderjeet Singh Chaddha had other plans as he slammed one past the Jalandhar keeper with just five minutes to go. The 2-1 scoreline stayed that way till the end of time. The Hyderabad Sultans champions of the 2005 Premier Hockey League. Sher-e-Jalandhar runners-up Some consolation for Sher-e-Jalandhar as they were the runners up, 5 points behind the hosts. The Maratha Warriors came third, the Bangalore hi-fliers fourth. The Chennai Veerans, bottom of the tier one table, have been relegated to tier two. The Sultans take home Rs 30 lakh as prize money. Pakistani penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas one of the heroes for them, as he finished the tournament not only as the second highest goal scorer, but also a firm crowd favourite.

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