Holders Ranchi Rhinos grinded out a tough 2-1 win over Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday.
English drag-flicker Ashley Jackson gave his Ranchi side the lead by converting a penalty corner in the 18th minute.
Another Englishman Barry Middleton (26th minute) doubled the Rhinos’ lead with a field goal in the second quarter as the visitors’ went into the halfway break with a comfortable 2-0 advantage.
The Wizards, however, managed to pull one back in the 50 minute when Edward Ockenden scored from a field effort to raise the hope of the home fans.
But that was all the home team could muster as the visitors registered their second win of the tournament.
The visitors had the better share of ball possession, enjoying 56 per cent of the possession as against Wizards’ 44 percent.
The Wizards will next face Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the same venue on Sunday, while the Ranchi Rhinos will face Dabur Mumbai Magicians in their home ground on Tuesday.
Stopwatch: Ranchi Rhinos 2 (A Jackson 18, B Middleton 26) bt Uttar Pradesh Wizards 1 (E Ockenden 50)