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Ritu Rani scores hat-trick as India thrash Singapore

Bangkok: Skipper Ritu Rani led form the front with a hat-trick as India spanked Singapore 9-0 for their second successive Group A win in the sixth Women`s Junior Asia Cup Hockey Championship here.

Vice-captain Poonam Rani also scored three goals yesterday as the team followed up its 15-0 win against Sri Lanka. Vandana Katariya scored off a sixth-minute penalty corner to open the scoring.

Seven minutes later, fellow forward Anupa Barla increased the lead with a field goal. Poonam scored off a penalty corner in the 22nd minute while Lily Chanu Mayengam added a field goal just before the break to ensure that India held a 4-0 lead.

Poonam pumped in two field goals within 10 minutes of resumption while captain Ritu Rani scored a hat-trick off penalty corners in an 11-minute span from the 57th minute in a match in which India enjoyed 95 per cent ball possession.

Though Singapore packed their defence, India scored frequently, converting six of the 15 penalty corners they forced.

In another Group A match, China beat Sri Lanka 21-0 while Korea defeated Pakistan 19-0 in a Group B game. India will play against China on Monday before taking on Malaysia in their final league game the following day.

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