Tamil Thalaivas was held to a 40-40 tie by Haryana Steelers, which picked up two crucial points in the final 30 seconds to deny the Tamil Thalaivas the chance to sign off its Pro Kabaddi League campaign with a win, at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata on Tuesday.
Tamil Thalaivas was trailing 13-14 in the final minute of first half when Ajay Thakur's two successful raids turned the scoreline in its favour 16-14. This reduced the Steelers to just one player as the Thalaivas returned after the interval to get the all-out and extend the lead to 19-15.
As it happened
Haryana regrouped quickly and levelled the score to 20-20 with captain Monu Goyat launching the recovery with four successful raids. Haryana inflicted an all-out on Thalaivas and made it 27-23 by the middle of the second half.
Tamil Thalaivas was in no mood to give in and turned around on the excellent raiding ability of its captain Ajay Thakur, who picked up 10 points in six successive raids.
Building the advantage, Tamil Thalaivas continued to lead 38-40 till the last 40 seconds. Ajay Thakur, seemingly overconfident, committed a silly error that got Steelers back in the game. Thakur, while still in his raid, started giving instructions to teammates apparently to kill the remaining time. But as he took his eyes away from the opponents, the Steelers pounced on the opportunity carrying away Thakur virtually from the line.
Vikas Kandola picked another point from the final raid and made it 40-40. Tamil Thalaivas bowed out of the tournament with a bottom-placed finish in Zone B, while Haryana Steelers finished the season with a bottom place in Zone A.
Bengal Warriors enjoyed the home advantage as it downed Telugu Titans 39-34 in second match of evening. Telugu Titans looked weak in raiding and defence without the likes of Vishal Bharadwaj, Rahul Chaudhari, Nilesh Salunke, Anil Kumar on the teamsheet.
The win helped Bengal, which has already qualified to the play-offs, inch closer to the Zone B leader Bengaluru Bulls (72 points) tallying 64 points from 20 matches. Bengal Warriors raider Maninder Singh became the fastest player in the tournament to reach 500 raid points after he collected 12 points in the match.
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