PKL 2019: Haryana Steelers, Dabang Delhi continue winning streaks

Haryana Steelers and Dabang Delhi won comfortably against Gujarat Fortune Giants and U Mumba respectively.

Vikash Kandola (in blue) led the scoring for Haryana Steelers with eight points, the joint-most with Prashant Kumar Rai.   -  SANDEEP SAXENA

Vikash Kandola’s early raiding brilliance ensured Haryana Steelers thrashed Season 6 runner-up Gujarat Fortune Giants 41-24 in a Pro Kabaddi League encounter here on Wednesday. In the second match, home team Dabang Delhi thumped U Mumba 40-24 to maintain its 100 per cent record at home.

Vikas (8 points), Prashanth Kumar Rai (8 points) and Ravi Kumar with a High 5 (6 tackle points) led an all-round performance from the Steelers that saw the side jump to third place in the Season 7 points table.

In-form Haryana Steelers, which had lost only one match in its previous five, started the match on the front foot with its leading raider Kandola once again in the thick of things at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex.

The Gujarat defence, despite having the best tackle success rates in Season 7, struggled to contain the Haryana raiding unit as the Steelers pulled clear.

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Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal both struggled to contain Kandola, and the raider inflicted the first all-out on Fortune Giants with a three-point raid in the 15th minute of the first half to move an 8-point lead.

Ruturaj Koravi successfully tackled Kandola twice in the latter stages but Haryana’s raider Vinay and Prashanth Kumar Rai quickly revived their star to close the first half with scores 20-11 in favour of the Haryana side.

While the raiders usually walk away with all the credit for the Steelers, the defence has been more than influential in their winning streak.

The likes of Ravi Kumar and Vikas Kale were in form again, dominating the early exchanges in the second half, which led to another all-out for the Fortune Giants in the fifth minute of the half.

The Gujarat team struggled to keep Kandola on the bench despite a few successful tackles because Vinay and Prashanth were having an equally good game.

Vinay’s three-point raid with 8 minutes remaining in the match forced another all-out on a hapless Gujarat team as Haryana cruised to a 21-point lead.

The Haryana team chose to experiment in the final stages of the match, giving rest to Kandola, and wrapped up the match without even giving away one all-out.

-Dabang Delhi maintains 100 per cent home record-

Dabang Delhi completed a 40-24 win over U Mumba and maintain its perfect home record. This is its third win in as many as matches at home. Naveen Kumar led the way with 11 points, 10 of which came off successful raids. Ravinder Pahal was excellent with his tackling, finishing the match with eight tackle points. The win strengthened Delhi's position at the top, with it seven clear of second-placed Jaipur Pink Panthers.