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Sports

March 21, 2017

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Abubakar scores hat-trick as Pakistan thump New Zealand

Abubakar scores hat-trick as Pakistan thump New Zealand

KARACHI: Marvelous performance of penalty corner specialist Abubakar helped Pakistan defeat New Zealand by 4-2 in the third test match at Wellington on Monday.

Abubakar’s hat-trick enabled Pakistan to level the series 1-1.

The match began with New Zealand entering Pakistan’s circle a few times. Off a fierce tomahawk, Pakistani goalkeeper Amjad made an exceptional save with a stretched right hand.

Thereafter, Pakistan had the 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.

Just minutes into the second half, Pakistan doubled the advantage via another penalty corner. Faisalabad-born Abubakar’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 Abubakar 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 had a great day. Their persistence, however, paid off as Cory Bennett sent an unstoppable flick high into the roof off their second PC in the 45th minute.

After seeing off early New Zealand pressure in the last quarter, including two PCs, the Green-shirts got a penalty corner. Brilliant Abubakar completed his hat trick, this time off a ripper sent high to the left side of the net.

Trailing 1-4 with just seven minutes left, the Black Sticks continued to search for goals. After wasting another PC, they finally added a goal when Stephend Jennes sent a scorcher via an upright reverse in the last minute. 

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