Ranchi: Table leaders Delhi Waveriders extended their invincible run in the Hockey India league as they trounced Ranchi Rhinos 5-2 at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium. (Agencies)
Delhi 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, Gurwinder Singh 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.
Simon Child collected a dreadful miss-hit from Rhinos' defender Amit Rohidas inside the circle, and with Tirkey charging too early, Child managed to hit the target forcing Rhinos to immediately replace Tirkey with Cortes.
Rhinos had their chances, when they earned penalty corners in the 11th and the 19th minute. But the hosts were unable to execute their plans on both occasions.
Waveriders delivered another blow to the hosts in the second quarter, with Chandi scoring one of the best goals of the tournament so far.
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.
Ranchi: Table leaders Delhi Waveriders extended their invincible run in the Hockey India league as they trounced Ranchi Rhinos 5-2 at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium.