Chandigarh, Jan 19: Jake Whetton's second minute field strike was enough to hand Jaypee Punjab Warriors a 2-0 victory over defending champions Ranchi Rays in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) at the Intertiol Hockey Stadium here on Tuesday.
In the rematch of last year's fil, centre-half Sardar Singh assisted Whetton as the hosts made the most of a quick counter-attack early in the match.
After a failed attack, Ranchi were caught pping with even most of their defenders yet to return in their circle. Sardar fed Australian Whetton from the right and the Australian dodged an onrushing and diving goalkeeper Tyler Lovell to slot home an open field goal, that is counted as two in this edition.
Even though it was the first outing for both the sides, Warriors looked a more cohesive unit as compared to Rays. While 2014 World Player of the Year Mark Knowles was as assured as ever at the back, the troika of Man-of-the-Match Whetton, S.V. Sunil and captain Sardar Singh had a very good game, tormenting Rays at every opportunity.
In the next match on Wednesday, Warriors host last year's bronze medallist Delhi Waveriders, while Rays travel to Lucknow to face Uttar Pradesh Wizards on Friday. IANS