Great Britain hung on to beat India 3-2 and take full points in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday.
It was an exhilarating contest with India pushing Britain all the way. In fact, India recovered brilliantly from 0-2 down in the second half but failed to prevent Britain from scoring for the third time.
India should have scored more goals in the first half but inaccuracy cost it dear. Rupinder Singh, who played forward, almost reached a pass from Dharamvir but failed to get a touch. Later, in a similar situation, Tushar was found wanting.
Sardar Singh played a valiant role throughout, spraying superb across. At the right, Gurbaj sent the rival defenders on a spin with cross hits some of which went to waste.
Britain's attack was solid, systematic and sustained. Admirable positional play gave it the advantage of overcoming the resistance with methodic efficiency.
Ashley Jackson, Robert Moore and Matt Daly cut through often making capital of the hard work by Glenn Kirkham and Ben Hawes.
Britain's lead came somewhat against the run of play from a penalty corner. Richard Smith took the shot to which goal-keeper Sreejesh offered his left palm. When the ball bounced up, in came Ben Kirkham to tap it with a tennis smash.
Shortly after the break, Britain went ahead from another penalty corner, Hawes making the best use of a flick from Barry Middleton. Raghunath then produced a stunner of a flick to reduce the margin.
Sunil got in a beautiful goal, deflecting a cross from Gurbaj Singh. When it looked like a draw was on the cards, came Britain's third from a reverse flick by Nick Catlin.
But India fought back again and forced two penalty corners. The third Indian penalty corner came in three minutes before the hooter. Raghunath was blocked by an on rushing defender.
Had he directed it to the roof of the net, he would have perhaps surprised goal-keeper James Fair. New Zealand cruised to a comfortable win and took a definite stride towards next Sunday's final.
With nine points, and undefeated in three matches, the Kiwis are unlikely to miss the combat for the trophy unless they tumble badly in the remaining three matches.
Ryan Archbald slotted one in lead early on off a pass from Arun Panchia, and a penalty corner goal by Andy Hayward was not long in coming.
After the break, Nick Wilson tapped in a rebound after goal-keeper Imran Shah padded a penalty corner hit by Hayward.
Pakistan strove hard and succeeded to an extent when Haseem Khan deflected a centre from Shafaqt Rasool. Thereafter, it had a spell of dominance but frittered away at least three openings against the tiring Kiwi defenders.
The results: New Zealand 3 (Ryan Archbald, Andy Hayward, Nick Wilson) bt Pakistan 1 (Hassem Ahmed Khan).
Argentina 4 (Lucas Vila, Agustin Muzzilli, Facundo Callioni-2) bt Korea 3 (Nam Hyun Woo, Jang Jong Hyun 2); Great Britain 3 (Glenn Kirkham, Ben Hawes, Nick Catlin) bt India 2 (Raghunath, S.V. Sunil).
Monday's matches: Korea v Pakistan (1:35 p.m.); Great Britain v New Zealand (3:35 p.m.); India v Malaysia (5:35 p.m.).
Keywords: Azlan Shah hockey tournament