KARACHI National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) opened up a three-point lead over nearest challengers Wapda when they recorded fourth straight victory in the NBP 57th National Hockey Championship defeating Navy 6-2 here Thursday at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium.
With five more matches remaining to be played in the 10-team competition, NBP has total of 12 points from their unbeaten run in the championship.
Their nearest rival are Wapda which has nine points followed by defending champions PIA and a strong Army both with seven points each from four outings.
The way NBP strikers are hitting the target, it seems no other team in the next five matches would be able to stop NBP from winning and lifting the championship title which they were unlucky to lose last time against PIA on goal difference after tying on points table.
So far the NBP have scored 28 goals and conceded nine goals.
Navy surprised the stronger NBP by taking the lead in the second minute after push off with Falak Zaman converting penalty corner.
He again scored just before half time through PC.
NBP knew that by taking the lead Navy has challenged the bank strikers who lost no time in opening the score and once they started getting goals there was no stopping.
Muhammad Ateeq netted the equaliser in 10th minute.
Other goals came through Tariq Aziz 14th minute, Akhtar Ali 18th minute, Haseem Khan 22nd and 24th minute and Shahzad 28th minute.
In other matches of the day, Wapda thrashed KESC 8-4.
Pakistans international striker Rehan Butt found his scoring touch when he slammed three goals for Wapda.
The lethal striker opened scoring for the winners and added two more goals in 33rd and 68th minute.
Young Gohar Rasool son of reputed centre half Akhtar Rasool, the reputed centre half of yesteryears added two goals through PC in 40th and 60th minute.
Waqas Sharif, Asif Michael and Farhan added one goal to the winners wining margin.
With their third victory, Wapda has collected nine points in four games.
Their only loss was against Habib Bank who had won 3-1.
Army collected their second win in four outings when they defeated PAF 6-2.
Waqas Akber scored twice in 27th and 59th minute.
Other scorers were Inayatullah 4th minute, Yasir Islam 6th minute Kashif Ali 12th minute and Zaheer Ahmed 64th minute.
PAFs goal came through Barkat Ali 47th minute and Shaban 59th minute.
In the meantime, the tournament director acting on written complaints has suspended three players and one official for one to two matches.
Sajjad Anwar of Wapda and their manager Mirza Waheed were suspended for two matches each for unsporting behaviour.
Yasir Islam of PIA and Abbas Haider of SSGC were suspended for one match each after the two grapped with each other during play.
Matches for Friday: PIA v Port Qasim at 1:30 pm, NBP v HBL at 3:30 pm, Army v SSGC at 5 pm.