India beats Malaysia

CHENNAI, SEPT 2. Excitement was less, quality just passable but the fact remained that India won the first of the five Test junior women's hockey series against Malaysia 3-0 at the Mayor Radhakrishnan stadium on Saturday.

The start was swift as the visitors made the first move to the Indian end. But there the flourish ended. The Indians gained ground rapidly with the midfield and forwardline falling into the groove.

At the stroke of the seventh minute itself the host went ahead after an Annarita tackle close to the rival circle spilled the ball free to Surinder who was in handy position to strike in a flash. The rising shot sent the ball through the netting bringing up a momentary suspense on whether the ball had actually gone in. But only momentary because Umpire Asrita was satisfied that it was a goal.

Annarita had given the through ball for the first and Mamta for the second.

The Malaysians were increasingly under pressure, none really coming into focus. Why, the visiting team was equally unsure about the new penalty corner rule, which is to come into force after the Olympics. The second dotted line skirting the circle five yards away confused them when Malaysia won its first penalty corner award. So much so both teams agreed to revert to the old rule of `push in and hit' in the second session.

The second and third Tests are to be played at Tirupati on September 4 and 5 and remaining two in Bangalore on September 6 and 7.

Mr. J.P.S. Bindra, Chief Manager, Punjab and Sind Bank (South Zone) was the day's chief guest.

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