Youthful Abubakr starred in Pakistan’s thumping 4-2 victory over New Zealand with a superb penalty corner goals hat trick in the third hockey test at Wellingtons national hockey stadium.
Abubakr from Faisalabad justified his inclusion in the national senior team and earned a unique distinction of slamming a penalty corner hat trick in Pakistan’s well deserved win over New Zealand, ranked six places higher, said the information made available to APP here on Monday.
The 5 match series stands at 1-1.
The match began with New Zealand entering Pakistan’s circle a few times. Off a fierce tomahawk, Pakistani goal keeper Amjad made an exceptional save with out stretched right hand.
Thereafter, Pakistan had better of the exchanges for most of the first half.
They combined well and repeatedly entered opponents’ 23 metre area and chances arrived. Off the second penalty corner, captain Haseem Khan put his side ahead with a well executed indirect drill.The green shirts led 1-0 at half time.
Just minutes into the second half, Pakistan doubled the advantage via another penalty corner. Abubakr’s superb low drag flick found the right corner of the goal. The third goal in the 35th minute off the fifth PC was the replica of the previous one as Abubakr was again spot on.
Down by three goals, the hosts applied tremendous pressure in the last 10 minutes of the third quarter. They had opportunities.
A few were squandered while Amjad under the bar also had a great day. The persistence paid as off the second PC in the 45th minute, Cory Bennett sent an unstoppable flick high into the roof.
After seeing off early New Zealand pressure in the last quarter, including two PCs, the green shirts got a penalty corner of their own.
Brilliant Abubakr completed his hat trick, this time off a ripper sent high to the left side of the net.
Ttrailing 1-4 with just seven minutes left, black sticks continued to search for goals. After wasting another PC, they finally added another goal when Stephend Jennes sent a scorcher via an upright reverse in the last minute.
Pakistan team’s show here has shown an upward graph. After losing the first test, the green shirts gave an improved performance to draw the second game. And today, they had a convincing win.
The fourth test will be played on March 22.
Final Result: Pakistan 4, New Zealand 2. Scorers:
Pakistan: Abubakr 3 (all PC) & Haseem Khan (PC)
New Zealand: Cory Bennett (PC) & Stephen Jennes (FG).—APP