Young drag-flicker Jugraj Singh, playing his second international match, performed a hat-trick as India hammered hosts South Africa 10-2 in the FIH Pro League on Wednesday.
Jugraj converted three penalty corners in the fourth, sixth and 23 minutes, while Gursahibjit Singh (24th, 36th) and Dilpreet Singh (25th, 58th) scored a brace.
The others to find the target were Harmanpreet Singh (2nd), Abhishek (12th) and Mandeep Singh (27th).
South Africa scored through Daniel Bell (44th) off a penalty corner and a field strike from Richard Pautz (45th).
India dominated the contest, earning as many as 12 penalty corners and racing to an 8-0 lead at half-time .
After the change of ends, India extended its lead but South Africa showed some fight towards the end of the third quarter, scoring two goals in quick time. Dilpreet scored his second goal of the day with a fierce reverse hit from the top of the South African circle to make it 10-2 in favour of India.
In no time, South Africa secured a penalty corner but the Indians defended well to deny their opponents.
The Indians then secured a penalty corner in the next move but Harmanpreet's flick was well defended by South Africa.
India earned a penalty corner inside the last five seconds of the match but failed to utilise the opportunity.
India will play France in the second match of the two-leg tie on Saturday.
The result: India 10 (Harmanpreet 2, Jugraj 4, 6 & 23, Abhishek 12, Gursahibjit 24 & 36, Dilpreet 25 & 58, Mandeep 27) bt South Africa 2 (Bell 44, Pautz 45) .