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Nishan-e-Haider hockey tournament

After asserting their authority on penalty shootouts, Captain Raja Mohammad Sarwar 9ners shared points with Maj. Raja Aziz Bhatti 9ners following a draw in the international Nishan-i-Haider 9ners hockey tournament at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Hockey Stadium on Thursday.

Mohammad Sarwar 9ners triumphed 4-2 over their opponents in penalty shootouts to earn one point and added another after being held to a three-all draw in the regulation time.

Rizwan Ali, Salman Raziq, Fayyaz Yaqoob and Qazi Asfandyar beat Australian keeper David Arthur Reid under the bar after Samiullah Khan had failed to score in the first attempt.

For Aziz Bhatti, Rana Waheed and Ilyas managed to score as Noman Khan, Mohammad Anees and Mohsin Khan faltered.

Aziz Bhatti 9ners had an aggressive start in the regulation time when Ilyas drew first blood in the second minute of the play.

Mohammad Sarwar 9ners made at least three moves in order to draw level but lack of proper finish eluded them to score.

Contrary to the first half, the second produced five goals in a span of just 18-minutes.

Fayyaz brought the teams on even terms two minutes after resumption of play. Four minutes later, Sarwar 9ners missed a sitter.

Continuing their onslaughts, Sarwar 9ners forced their first penalty corner in the 28th minute which went abegging. They got the second in the next minute and Samiullah made no mistake to surge his team 2-1.

In a counter move, Rana Waheed after dribbling past a host of defenders scored with a brilliant left flick from top of circle to make it two-all in the 32nd minute.

Sarwar 9ners again surged 3-2 after Qazi Asfandyar scored off a penalty stroke. The lead was, however, shortlived as Abdullah chipped in the equalier a minute before the final hooter.

Sindh Governor Mohammad Zubair graced the first match of day two.

He was introduced with the two teams during interval. His speech delayed the resumption of play for 20 to 25 minutes. It is pertinent to mention that a five-minute break is allowed after the first half.

Speaking on the occasion, the governor, who has a passion for sports, welcomed the foreigners for coming all the way to Pakistan and in doing so, negating the impression of security threats. He hoped they will take happy memories with them back home.

The governor also paid glowing tributes to the 11 recipients of Nishan-i-Haider, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation.

Flanked by eminent former Olympians, he admired them individually by name and recalled their feats.

He disclosed that he had a meeting with squash legend Jahangir Khan on Thursday and assured to lend full support in staging a PSA international event early next year in the city.

“I had also asked the PCB chairman Najam Sethi to stage the second PSL final in Karachi,” he remarked.

The governor stated that he will be meeting with the prime minister soon and will apprise him for taking measures for the uplift of sports in the country.

He added it was his desire to make the metropolis a normal city as it used to be in the yesteryear.

The remaining matches of the day were still in progress at the time of filing this report.

Friday’s fixtures:

Hav Lalak Jan 9ners v Naik Saif Ali Janjua 9ners at 7pm, Maj. Tufail Mohammad 9ners v Capt. Raja Mohammad Sarwar 9ners at 8.15pm, Maj M. Akram 9ners v L/N M. Mahfooz 9ners at 9.30pm.

Published in Dawn, October 6th, 2017