GOLD COAST: India thrashed Malaysia 4-1 in a Group A match of the women's hockey competition at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Friday.
Gurjit Kaur (6th, 39th minutes), Rani (56th) and Lalremsiami (59th) scored for India. Rashid Nuraini (38th) reduced the margin for Malaysia.
This is the first victory of the campaign for India who now have three points from two matches. They were shocked 2-3 by Wales in their campaign opener on Thursday.
There are tougher tests ahead for the Indian eves as they are scheduled to face England and South Africa in their later group matches.
India dominated proceedings throughout Friday's match although the well-organised Malaysian defence managed to thwart them for long periods.
The Indians were aggressive right from the start and took the early lead when Gurjit smashed in a penalty corner.
They continued to dominate possession after that most of the play remained confined to the Malaysian half.
To their credit, despite the pressure, the Malaysian defenders re-organised themselves and blocked the Indian attackers till half-time.
The Indians survived a scare in the 37th minute when the umpire decided to award a penalty to stroke to Malaysia which was then reversed after an appeal.
Malaysia scored the equaliser only a couple of minutes later when Nuraini slammed in a penalty corner.
However, Gurjit wrested back the lead for India in the very next minute with another penalty corner conversion.
The Malaysians continued to defend well and hit back occasionally on the counter.
The Indian goal came under pressure on several occassions but a couple of excellent saves by their goalkeeper Savita and excellent work by the defenders managed to preserve their lead.
However, a couple of field goals by Rani and Lalremsiami in the dying minutes sealed the Indian victory.