PKL 2018: Thalaivas holds Steelers 32-32

Tamil Thalaivas’ forte was teamwork, with every player in the starting seven chipping in with points.

Jasvir Singh of Tamil Thalaivas is tackled by Haryana Steelers in an Inter-Zone Challenge game at the NSCI in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  VIVEK BENDRE

 

Tamil Thalaivas tied with Haryana Steelers 32-32 in the Pro Kabaddi 2018 Inter-Zone Challenge game and shared three points each. The deadlock coming at the end of the hard-fought contest may not please the team but the fans roared in excitement to the specialists’ skills at the NSCI indoor stadium on Wednesday.

Two all-outs, one in each half, lent a twist to the show. Steelers’ skipper Monu Goyat, the raider with the league’s highest price tag, was subdued and did not win a point after four raids. Vikash Khandola stepped up to fill in the void with a game-high 14 raid points.

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Thalaivas’ forte was teamwork, with every player in the starting seven chipping in with points. Sukesh Hegde top-scored with seven, Ajay Thakur (six), Manjeet Chillar, Jasvir Singh (four each) also stood out. The team held its nerve under pressure and kept an eye on the chinks in the rival camp.

A repeat of a 25-25 tie, when the two sides clashed earlier in the league, looked possible as Thalaivas tacklers got into the rhythm straightaway, before Steelers made a comeback. Reputed raiders on both sides faced a tough time.

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Steelers chipped away steadily at the lead gained by Thalaivas, culminating in an all-out in the former’s favour. Sukesh and Ajay faced difficulty breaching the defensive wall. Vikash (eight raid points) remained ahead of the pack with seven successful raids from 10 attempted till half-time.

After the half-time break, Steelers ran into resistance from the opponent. Fans were treated to aggressive defending by Steelers and fast footwork by Jasvir on the attack. Raiders were lifted off the mat and dumped at the back or smothered by bodies.

U Mumba vs Bengaluru Bulls

U Mumba defeated Bengaluru Bulls 32-29 in a thriller at the NSCI stadium in Mumbai.

It was an all-round performance from U Mumba. The Bulls overcame a disastrous start towards the end of the second half, courtesy a five-point raid from Pawan Sehrawat and another super raid from Kashiling Adake.

Depsite reducing the deficit to as close as three points, U Mumba was able to hold out and get successive wins at home.

Scores: Tamil Thalaivas 32 (Sukesh Hegde 7) tied with Haryana Steelers 32 (Vikash Khandola 14). Pts: TT and HS (three each); U Mumba 32 (Darshan Kadian 9) beat Bengaluru Bulls 29 (Pawan Sehrawat 8). Pts: UM (5), BB (1).