25 May 2012

Black Sticks overcome odds to thrash India

7:15 am on 25 May 2012

The New Zealand men's hockey team overcame the withdrawal of a player and six team members suffering gastro symptoms to thrash India 5-1 in their opening game of the Sultan Azlah Shah Cup in Malaysia.

First Blair Hilton was rushed into hospital overnight Thursday with appendicitis and underwent an appendicitis operation, ruling him out of the tournament.

Then Simon Child, Arun Panchia, Stephen Jenness, Andy Hayward, Phil Burrows and Hugo Inglis all went down with the stomach problems and were isolated to avoid other team mates being infected.

Inglis ended up being the only player not able to take the field, leaving New Zealand with only 16 players available for the match.

Northland's Shay Neal was flown to Malaysia to replace Hilton in the seven-team tournament.

The Black Sticks are top of the table ahead of Pakistan, who beat Argentina 4-2, while hosts Malaysia and South Korea drew 1-1. Great Britain is yet to play.