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India whip Thailand in women's Asia Cup hockey

Source: PTI
October 31, 2009 19:49 IST
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Rani Ramphal led the charge with six goals as India thrashed hosts Thailand 15-0 and inched closer to the semi-finals of the women's Asia Cup hockey tournament at the Queen Sikrit Sports Centre in Bangkok on Friday.

India led 6-0 at the break.

With six points from two matches, India are now a win away from cementing a place in the knock-out stage. They have to beat either Malaysia or China in the next group outings to advance.

India had earlier steamrolled Singapore 13-0 in their campaign-opener on Thursday.

Ramphal won the hearts of the sparse but appreciative crowd at the ground with a dazzling display of deft stick work. After finding the back of the net twice in first half, she sounded the board four more times in the second session.

Veterans Mamta Kharab and Saba Anjum accounted for three goals each, while captain Surinder Kaur, Ritu Rani and Monika Bardan also joined the party with a goal each.

India's chief coach M K Kaushik introduced fresh legs in the second half and gave a chance to the younger players, like S Sunila Kiro, Mukta Barla, Vartika and Moika Bardan.

"Fielding youngsters is worth doing. We would have liked to score 20 goals and thus put the Chinese under pressure. But, overall, I am happy with the performance," Kaushik said after the match.

After two days' rest, India plays China on Tuesday and Malaysia the next day.

Surinder's team is expected to sail through along with Malaysia, who are 10 rungs below in the world rankings to India's 14th.

Meanwhile, defending champions Japan crushed Sri Lanka 20-0, while Korea defeated Hong Kong 10-0.

China opened their campaign in the tournament with a 13-0 victory over Singapore.

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