New Delhi: Mumbai Magicians coach Ric Charlesworth, on Wednesday, conceded that it would be hard for his team to find replacements for the four Pakistani players who were sent back home following cross-border tension.
"They were the best players. We can't replace them as they were very good. Our Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt was among the best goalkeepers in the world. Obviously, it will take us some time to find their replacements," Charlesworth told reporters after the match against Delhi Waveriders.
Waveriders overcame a spirited challenge from Mumbai Magicians to prevail 2-1.
Rupinder Pal Singh (26th minute) and Norris Jones (49th) scored for Delhi while Sandeep Singh sounded the board for Mumbai in the 50th minute.
Mumbai could have easily earned themselves a draw had Sandeep not let go a golden opportunity in the dying minutes of the match at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium.
Charlesworth said the boys played "terrific" hockey.
"Our team played some terrific hockey. We were short of some players but I am proud of the way my wards performed today. We picked the youngest team for today's game. We need to work on few areas," he said.
In Jalandhar, a solid defensive display helped Ranchi Rhinos defeat Jaypee Punjab Warriors 2-1.
Despite a better display, they failed to dominate the opposition at the Surjeet Singh Stadium. Rhinos' English recruit Ashley Jackson put the team ahead with a clinical drag flick in the 43rd minute and Mandeep Singh benefited from a defensive error to score the second six minutes later.
Warriors looked to turn the match around in the fourth and final quarter as Aussie Kieran Govers managed to reduce the deficit with a reverse hit seven minutes from time.
However, that only proved to be a consolation goal as the Rhinos withered away the storm to pick five points from the encounter.