PKL: Nitin top-scores in Panthers-Steelers tie

Haryana's defence held up much better that in earlier games, keeping the Jaipur raiders quiet for a large part of the first half.

Jaipur Pink Panthers' Jasvir Singh tries to escape Haryana Steelers' defence in the PKL.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Nitin Rawal top-scored with 14 points to salvage a draw for Jaipur Pink Panthers as Haryana Steelers ended its home leg of the Pro Kabaddi League with a 27-27 tie at the Motilal Nehru School of Sport here on Thursday.

MATCHCENTRE

The host excluded two of its biggest but struggling names – captain Surender Nada and defender Mohit Chillar – and gave a chance to Mayur Shivtarkar and Kuldeep Singh and both did not disappoint, scoring points in raids and tackling, respectively. Haryana's defence held up much better that in earlier games, keeping the Jaipur raiders quiet for a large part of the first half.

In fact, if not for Rawal's brilliance, the former champion would have struggled to make a match of it. Every time Jaipur was in a desperate situation, Rawal stepped up with successful raids to garner multiple points.

Haryana had the better start and also effected an all-out in the 15th minute by sending out Jaipur's last player Ajit Singh to take a 14-7 lead. At half time, the score was 17-9, with Rawal waging a lone battle even as Haryana's defence stood out. It soon became 22-13 but Jaipur upped the tempo, narrowing the gap to 24-22 with five minutes to go, thanks to a three-pointer by Rawal and the scores levelled soon after, remaining so till the end. The result saw both teams jump up a spot on the table in Zone A – debutant Haryana went on top for the first time this season while Jaipur lifted itself up from the bottom, above Dabang Delhi.