ENGLAND 5 (Jonty Clarke 20, 62, Ashley Jackson 32, Barry Middleton 53, 65)

PAKISTAN 2 (Shakeel Abbasi 45, Rehan Butt 49)

Surbiton Hockey Club’s four England internationals in England’s World Cup squad – the most from any one team – all played their part in helping notch up England’s third pool B victory out of three by beating Pakistan on Thursday in Delhi.

In particular, James Tindall laid on his country’s opening goal on 20 minutes and Richard Alexander the third 18 minutes into the second half, after Pakistan had pulled back from 2-0 down in the opening 35 minutes to be 2-2 in the 49th minute.

Surbiton’s other two players in the 16-man team, Ben Hawes and Rob Moore, were also prominent in the game shown live on English-based Asian channel Zing TV, as indeed are all the World Cup matches, generating tremendous interest countrywide.

Earlier in the day in pool B, favourites Australia ran out 12-0 victors over South Africa, setting a World Cup record in the process, while, in the final game, Spain beat India 5-2.

These results meant that England – with three wins out of three - go into Saturday’s fourth match against India top of Pool B by three points over Australia and Spain, six of India and Pakistan and nine of South Africa, well placed to reach next Thursday’s semi-finals.

Facing the four-time- world champions (now ranked seventh in the world) for the first time since a three-match series in Cannock last summer, England (ranked sixth) had their coach Jason Lee restore Jonty Clarke to the squad following the Reading forward’s precautionary rest, meaning that Dan Fox, who plays his indoor hockey for Surbiton, returned to the stand, having made his World Cup debut on Tuesday against South Africa. The match began in controversial circumstances with Tindall having a goal disallowed inside three minutes after Pakistan referred to the video umpire German umpire Christian Blasch’s decision to allow it.

Tindall’s clubmate Ben Hawes’s cross from the right deflected high into the air off the stick of Akhtar Ali and into the circle, where Tindall timed his shoulder-high volley to perfection. The 26-year-old’s baseball-style shot flew into the bottom corner as Pakistan’s defenders immediately appealed to the umpire that it was played above shoulder height. Video umpire Colin Hutchinson from Ireland agreed and the goal was ruled out, but England had signalled their intent.

Pakistan had their first sight on James Fair’s goal in the ninth minute after a threaded through pass split the English defence. But for the last-minute intervention of Beeston’s Ali Wilson, Fair may have been picking the ball out of the net, whereas the shot deflected off to the side of the pitch and it remained 0-0.

On 11 minutes, another of England’s Surbiton contingent, Richard Alexander, showed his hunger for the game as he stole the ball in the midfield before feeding World Young Player of the Year Ashley Jackson, who held off four Pakistan defenders before he was eventually outmuscled in the circle.

England won their first penalty corner of the game in the 15th minute after good work down the right from Surbiton’s Hawes, but Richard Mantell’s effort flew wide of the left post. And Hawes was again in the thick of it a minute later, flashing a low, hard cross from the right across the face of goal which clubmate Alexander narrowly failed to connect with.

Having been in the ascendancy for the opening period, England lost defender Richard Smith to a two-minute suspension but despite the numerical disadvantage the men in white did not miss a beat. A moment later, England were ahead.

On 20 minutes, Tindall latched onto Ben Hawes’ long aerial pass downfield and with his back to goal he drove a powerful pass across the circle, which was met at the far post by the diving Jonty Clarke. The Reading man, returned to the side after missing Tuesday’s win over South Africa with a tight hamstring, launched himself into a full-length dive to connect with Tindall’s cross and deflect the ball home; 1-0 to England.

Against South Africa, England had exhibited moments of naivety in defence and now a break in concentration gave Pakistan’s Rehan Butt an opportunity along the baseline.

But their defence recovered enough to crowd him out at the expense of a penalty corner, which Fair saved with his left foot down the middle of the goal.

With Pakistan coming at England there was space to exploit on the counter and Alastair Brogdon looked to capitalise when he broke down the left and cut the ball back to the supporting Ashley Jackson at the top of the circle. Jackson took his shot on the move well but Salman Akbar stuck out a foot and kept it out with the tip of his toe at full stretch.

Pakistan were awarded their second penalty corner on 28 minutes after Richard Mantell deflected the ball up onto his teammate Wilson, but again Fair was equal to the set-piece, saving a powerfully flicked effort to his left. Pakistan fired the rebound wide but subsequently appealed that the ball had hit the foot of England captain Barry Middleton. Video replays were inconclusive and Pakistan lost their right to any more referrals for the remainder of the match.

Things got worse for the men in green three minutes before the break as England’s Dutch club duo of Middleton and Jackson combined to put England two up. Middleton’s pass from the top left of the circle appeared to go through two Pakistan defenders on its way to the back post where it was knocked in by Jackson; 2-0 at half-time.

England were handed a numerical advantage with just 30 seconds played in the second half as Muhammad Zubair was yellow carded for a deliberate foul on Jackson deep inside Pakistan territory. Two up and with a man advantage, England might have crushed the Pakistani spirit there and then but Jackson saw his penalty corner effort charged down well by Akhtar Ali at the top of the circle and Pakistan responded.

At the other end they won a penalty corner of their own which James Fair again had to keep out, saving the shot with his left glove in front of his face and clearing the danger.

In the pressure that followed, 17-year-old Rashid, the tournament’s second-youngest player, found himself in space behind the English defence but before he could squeeze off a shot Ashley Jackson put in a telling block to force the ball behind.

Pakistan’s sustained pressure finally told on 45 minutes as Shakeel Abassi picked the ball up in the inside left channel before going on to pull a goal back. Cutting inside, he took the ball around James Fair on the penalty spot and held off the challenge of Glenn Kirkham before firing the ball into the goal beyond two defenders on the line.

And things went from bad to worse for England when they lost a second goal and key defender Richard Mantell to what appeared to be an ankle injury at Pakistan’s fourth penalty corner. First, Mantell collided with Muhammad Irfam as he advanced from the post as the ball was pulled out.

With Mantell on the floor, the ball ended up on the right baseline and was fired back across through clear air to the waiting Rehan Butt, standing where Mantell would have been, to make it 2-2.

England’s disappointment at losing the goal was worsened by the injury to Mantell, who was still lying prone in the circle. Replays showed the Reading defender’s right ankle twisting in the collision and after a lengthy delay for treatment he left the field on a stretcher and was transferred straight to hospital.

The incident sparked the game alive and on 50 minutes Mantell’s Reading team-mate Iain Mackay was yellow carded for a shove in the midfield.

Three minutes later, England, still a man down, took advantage of a poor piece of goalkeeping from Salman to put them 3-2 up. The experienced goalkeeper mis-kicked his clearance along the left baseline and the persistent Alexander reacted quickest before cutting back to Middleton to score from close range. The goal put England back in control, but with Pakistan looking dangerous on every attack it was still very much anyone’s game.

That was until the 62nd minute when Iain Mackay was gifted the ball in the middle of the park and he found Jonty Clarke on the right of the circle. In attempting to cover the pass to Rob Moore at the back post the Pakistan goalkeeper left his near post exposed and Clarke took full advantage, spotting the gap and firing England 4-2 ahead.

And Clarke was involved again in England’s fifth goal, which he created for Middleton to score his second of the game. Spotting his captain’s run across goal, Clarke picked out Middleton in front of the goalkeeper and he added finishing touch to divert it past Salman with just five minutes remaining.

As time counted down, the match took on a more frenzied, end-to-end style but with neither side able to create another clear cut chance England ran out 5-2 winners, a fitting response from Mantell’s team-mates who were clearly upset at losing their inspirational colleague.

Clarke’s return to the side and his contribution to such a superb result earned him the man of the match award from the organisers.

England’s delight at their perfect start was afterwards muted by the news that hospital examination revealed that Mantell had sustained a fracture and dislocation of the right ankle, and will take no further part in the World Cup, having to return home where he will undergo surgery on his ankle on Monday.

England’s remaining pool games are against India on Saturday and Spain on Monday with an excellent chance of ending up in the top two and making it through to the semi-finals next Thursday and finals on Saturday.

The countries in pool A, from whom the opposition will come next Thursday and Saturday, or, if England don’t finish in the top two in their pool, the fifth to 12th classification games on Thursday and Friday are: Germany (ranked 1st in the world), Netherlands (4th), Korea (5th), New Zealand (8th), Canada (11th) and Argentina (14th).

Local hockey supporters not out in India are able to follow the whole World Cup live and for free on the English Asian network Zing TV.

England squad v Pakistan: James Fair (Cannock/GK); Ben Hawes (Surbiton); Richard Mantell (Reading); Richard Smith (Loughborough Students); Alistair Wilson (Beeston); Ashley Jackson (HGC); Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead); Rob Moore (Surbiton); Iain Mackay (Reading); Barry Middleton (C) (HGC); James Tindall (Surbiton).

Rolling substitutes used: Richard Alexander (Surbiton); Alasdair Brogdon (Bowdon); Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students); Jonty Clarke (Reading); Adam Dixon (Beeston).

Did not play: Nick Brothers (Reading/GK); Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster).