Chennai Cheetahs moved up to the second place on the World Series Hockey table with a 4-1 victory over Karnataka Lions at the KSHA Stadium here on Saturday.
Chennai clearly possessing the greater penetration in attack picked up its fourth win to condemn a largely listless Lions side to a continued stay at the bottom.
Vikram Pillay's strike from the spot and Imran Warsi's penalty corner conversion put the visitor ahead in the first half. Although Vinayak Bijwad pulled one back for Lions on the brink of the interval, Adam Sinclair and S. Sivamani put the result beyond doubt with goals in the second period.
Australian Joseph Reardon was impressive in attack on Chennai's right flank, his goal-bound shot earning the penalty that Pillay put away.
Imran Warsi doubled the lead, scoring his 14th goal of the competition, after another Aussie, Peter Kelly, had won a penalty corner — Chennai's fourth on the night.
Ravipal Singh and Arjun Halappa were, for the large part, the host's only creative outlets. When the goal did arrive, in the dying embers of the first half, it was after Len Aiyappa had overrun the ball on a penalty corner.
It broke for Vinayak Bijwad on the right, who gave the home crowd some hope with his low shot onto the board.
But it proved to be a false dawn. Lions' transition from defence to attack only grew slower as the match wore on.
A little after the restart, Vikas Sharma, dribbling through a pack of defenders on the right, found Adam Sinclair who turned his marker and buried his shot into the far corner. Sivamani's strike two minutes from time merely reinforced the obvious.
Sunday is a rest day.
The result: Karnataka Lions 1 (Vinayak Bijwad 35) lost to Chennai Cheetahs 4 (Vikram Pillay 13, Imran Warsi 33, Adam Sinclair 43, S. Sivamani 67).
At Jalandhar: Sher-E-Punjab 5 (Inderjit Singh, Mandeep Antil, Gagan Ajit Singh, Matthew Hotchkis) bt Bhopal Badshahs 3 (Casey Henwood, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Shailendra Singh Bundela).