Bengal Warriors captain Maninder Singh made a successful super raid in the last minute to help the host forge a tie against Gujarat Fortunegiants 25-25 in the opening match of the Kolkata-Leg here at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
With the Fortunegiants employing a good defensive plan, Bengal Warriors faced stiff resistance from the start. The host managed to nose ahead in the first half thanks to some good raids by Maninder and K. Prapanjan who picked up five and four points respectively. The Warriors enjoyed a slender 15-13 lead at the break as the opponent raider Sonu Jaglan put up a fine show (five points) to keep Fortunegiants in contention. The visitor also showed some good tackling skills to prevent an ‘all-out’ as Bengal tried to pick up points having better raiders in its arsenal.
Iranian Mohammad Nabibakhsh was another name lending solidity to Warriors’ attacks. The host could not forge the lead ahead after the interval as Fortunegiants found a new raider in Sachin Tanwar, who made a series of successful raids. The Fortunegiants soon drew level (16-16) and established a 19-16 lead with Sachin brining in some more successful raid points.
The Bengal defence made a couple of successful tackles to see the host making it 20-20 but the Fortune giants looked in mood to let the advantage slip and established a 25-23 lead with less than a minute remaining of the match. With a win looking certain for Fortunegiants, Maninder took the initiative to make the final raid for Bengal Warriors and ensnared two Fortunegiants defenders to force the tie. Maninder remained the most successful raider of the match picking up nine points.
-Heavy defeat for Dabang Delhi-
Top-ranked Dabang Delhi suffered a 47-25 defeat to third-placed Haryana Steelers, which inflicted three all-outs to win the match by a margin of 22 points. Vikash Kandola and Prashant Kumar Rai produced Super 10s for Haryana. Naveen Kumar of Dabang Delhi top-scored with 11 points.