Haryana edges out Dabang Delhi, Gujarat pips Paltan

Dabang Delhi didn’t do much wrong but failed to capitalize on opportunities as it narrowly lost to Haryana Steelers 34-31. Gujarat Fortunegiants put on a strong show in the second half to beat Puneri Paltan 28-34.

Haryana Steelers ended its home leg with a 34-31 victory over Dabang Delhi in the Pro Kabaddi League on Thursday. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Haryana Steelers ended its home leg with a hard-fought 34-31 win over Dabang Delhi KC in the Pro Kabaddi League on Thursday.

It was an impressive team performance by Haryana, ending a four-match losing streak. Vikas Kandola came up with crucial raids and got able support from Monu Goyat and Naveen Kumar.

Dabang Delhi didn’t do much wrong but failed to capitalize on opportunities. The side's star player Meraj Sheykh had a disappointing match and scored just two points.

Goyat got Haryana off to a flying start as he scored three points in the first minute to give Steelers a 3-1 lead. Pawan Kadian made a successful raid in the third minute as Dabang Delhi KC trailed 2-4. Haryana Steelers’ defence did a fine job on Delhi raiders as it led for the majority of the first half.

As it happened

Naveen scored with a two-point raid in the 16th minute as Dabang Delhi avoided an all out. Dabang Delhi forced a super tackle in the 17th minute, levelling the game at 13-13. Another super tackle by Dabang Delhi in the 20th minute gave Delhi the lead for the first time in the match. At the end of the first half, Dabang Delhi led 16-14.

Dabang Delhi forced another super tackle at the start of the second half and led 19-15 after 25 minutes. Haryana Steelers responded with a super tackle of its own as they cut the lead to two points.

Vikas Kandola came up with a brilliant super raid in the 28th minute and Haryana Steelers inflicted an all out to lead 23-20. With less than 10 minutes to go, the match was evenly poised as Haryana Steelers had a two-point advantage. Vikas Kandola made another super raid in the 32nd minute as Haryana Steelers led 28-22.

Haryana Steelers led 30-25 with less than five minutes to go. Chandran Ranjit scored with a crucial two-point raid but Haryana Steelers kept its nerve in the last two minutes of the match and recorded a much-needed victory.

Gujarat pips Puneri Paltan 34-28

Puneri Paltan kicked off its home leg on a disappointing note after narrowly losing to Gujarat Fortunegiants 28-34 on Thursday.

It was an evenly contested affair till the half-time as both the teams were tied on same points however, Gujarat showed some extraordinary style of play to in the second half to register its first win in the ongoing sixth season.

The visitor started on a rousing note, taking a 4-0 lead before Pune’s star raider Nitin Tomar came into act as his fine raids and super raids made it 7-5. Nitin’s successful raids further extended Pune’s lead to 10-8 before some superb tackles by Sachin and K. Prapanjan bought Gujarat back into the contest as the scoreline read 14-11 in the visitor’s favour.

Pune’s super tackles in the final moments of the first half made the issue tied at 15-15.

The scenario remained the same in the first few minutes of second half as the succesful raids from both the sides made the score 20-20. Sachin’s brilliant raid in the 34th minute saw Pune suffering an all-out as Gujarat stretched the lead to 25-20.

Ajay Kumar continued to attack the home side as his raids and some successful tackles in the dying minutes of the game took Gujarat to 30 points while the home side struggled hard for a comeback but could only make to 28 points.

With this win, Gujarat has jumped a place to be at the fifth spot in zone A while Pune remains at the second place.