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Last Updated Saturday May 27 2017 03:56 PM IST

Azlan Shah Cup: Britain rally to hold India

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Azlan Shah Cup: Britain rally to hold India Representational image. AFP

Ipoh (Malaysia): India were held to a 2-2 draw by Britain in the opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here on Saturday.

Strikers Akashdeep Singh (19th minute) and Mandeep Singh (47th minute) scored for India while Tom Garson (25th minute) and Alan Forsyth (53rd minute) sounded the boards for Britain.

The teams were locked 1-1 at half-time.

The match started two hours behind schedule after the teams, who were warming up, had to scurry off the turf when lightening and heavy showers arrived in the afternoon. 

Heavy showers and lightening have been a feature of the tropical weather this season. 

Since the introduction of artificial pitches, hockey is no longer affected by normal rains, but matches are stopped midway at the slightest sign on lightening to avert any threat to players and officials on the pitch. 

As the Indian and British players ran off the pitch and the start of the game was deferred, organizers were bracing for frequent disruptions during the week-long tournament. 

India are scheduled to play four of their five round- robin league matches in the afternoon, exactly when dark clouds tend to drench the pitch at the Ipoh hockey stadium. 

Akashdeep draws first blood

After the first quarter ended goalless despite some exciting end-to- end action, Akashdeep put India ahead in the second period when he tapped in a rebound.

Carson leveled for Britain a short while before half-time with a superb finish.

Both teams continued to play an attacking game after the restart, but some good work by the defenders on both ends of the field ensured that no goals were scored in the third quarter.

India took the upper hand in the early stages of the final quarter when Sumit fired in a powerful shot from outside the penalty circle, forcing a save out of England goalkeeper Harry Gibson. However, Mandeep was at the right place at the right time to tap in the rebound.

However, Britain continued to attack and equalized for the second time in the match when Forsyth found the back of the net to steal a point for his team.

(With inputs from IANS and PTI)

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