New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) Playing to a plan, former champion Punjab and Sind Bank humbled last year's runners up Namdhari XI 4-1 to set up a title clash with Bharat Petroleum in the 44th Nehru Hockey tournament here today.
Unlike the easy win recorded by the bank men, Bharat Petroleum had to battle it out before downing Indian Airlines 3-2 in the second semifinal.
Much was expected in the clash between PSB and the Namdharis but it turned out to be an anti climax as the bank men subdued their rivals with unexpected ease.
''Attack is the best form of defence'' was the stretegy adopted by the bank men and that paid off handsomely .
Namdharis made some good moves but near the circle they fumbled before the crowded defence. On the other hand Bank men made some very incisive moves which rattled their rival defenders.
The coordinated attacks by the Bank men led to a penalty corner in the 10th minute and Vikramjit Singh was right on the target to put his side up 1-0.
Six minutes later the bank men struck again and this time Mandeep Singh took advantage of the confusion in the rival defence to shot home (2-0).
Stunned by two quick goals the Namdharis launched counter moves but had to wait for another 18 minutes before they could reduce the margin when in the 34th minute internaional Harpal Singh scored of a penalty corner.
However, the Namdharis could not sustain the aggression for long and the bank men struck or the th8ird time in the 48th minute through Sarvanjit Singh who made no mistake in sending the ball into the cage after intercepting a cross near the circle.
The goal demoralised the Namdharis who fell back to stop the rampaging bankmen but still conceding another-the fourth- goal when international Gurvinder Chandi found he target in the 52nd minute.
The Bank men held the way in the remaining 18 minutes of the game though they failed to increase the tally.
The second semi final between Bharat Petreoleum and Indian Airlines was a pacy affair with both sides being evenly balanced.
Both the teams earned two penalty corners each and while Bharat Petroleum converted both of them, Airlines could convert only one.
The teams atacked each other's citadel from the very start but it took 32 minutes before the first goal was scored.
Bharat Petreoleum earned their first penalty corner in the 32nd minute and Gurpreet Singh made no mistake in sending the ball home(1-0). Three minutes into the econd session Sandeep Micheal drew parity for the Airlines with a superb goal(1-1).
Gurpreet again put Bharat Petroleum ahead when he scored off a penalty corner in the 47th minute.
Airlines went on the offensive in search of an equaliser ] which they got in the 63rd minute when the were awarded their second penalty corner and this time Olympian Sandeep Singh made no mistake in flicking the ball home (2-2).
However, three minutes before the final whistle Bharat Petroleum struck again and this time it was a decisive goal as Olympian Sabu Verkey found the target leaving he Airlines stunned and bewildered.