New Delhi: Air India, Punjab and Sind Bank registered contrasting victories to storm into the final of the Nehru-ONGC Hockey Tournament here today. Striker Tushar Khandekar scored a brace as Air India thrashed Bharat Petroleum 4-1, while Punjab and Sind Bank edged out Railways XI 3-2 in a hard-fought semi-final encounter today. Both BPCL and Air India probed each other's defence unsuccessfully for 20 minutes before fullback Lakhwinder Singh blasted in an accurate Hardeep Singh pass to put the international carriers ahead. Just three minutes later, Air India tightened their grip as striker Tushar struck a spectacular goal utilising the new experimental rule, from just inside the 25 yard line. The Petroleum team got the breakthrough in the 27th minute as Sandip Somesh's scoop off the second penalty corner that his team earned left rival custodian Adrian D'Souza stranded. BPCL tried to claw their way back riding on two penalty corners received in the 38th and 40th minutes, but D'Souza who deflected the full-blooded shots with some acrobatics thwarted their attempts. It was Tushar who consolidated Air India's lead as he sounded the board again off a cunning pass from Kishore Kumar from the left flank to make it 3-1. With just four minutes left into the match, Roshan Tete drove the last nail into BPCL's coffin scoring a brilliant field goal.
Topics : Hockey