Pro Kabaddi: UP Yoddha pips Haryana Steelers, Fortunegiants thrash Thalaivas

UP Yoddha beat Haryana Steelers to move a win away from a playoff berth. Gujarat stays in the hunt with dominant 29-point win over Thalaivas.

UP Yoddha's Shrikanth Jadav took his side closer to the playoffs after starring in a win against the Haryana Steelers in the Pro Kabaddi League. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar

UP Yoddha defeated host Haryana Steelers 37-30 and Gujarat Fortunegiants thrashed Tamil Thalaivas on day one of the Panchkula leg of the Pro kabaddi League.

UP Yoddha is now just one win away from qualifying for the playoffs.

In a dramatic encounter, Shrikant Jadhav ended with another super 10 of the season, scoring 11 points in the win.

The other top performers included Nitesh Kumar and Surender Gill, who scored seven apiece in defence and attack respectively. Haryana boy, Surender Gill also chipped in, with smart raiding especially in do-or-die situations.

PKL Panchkula Day 01: as it happened

UP Yoddha led 4-0 with just a minute into the half. With the super raid, Surender Gill also reached 50 raid points in his first season.

Haryana Steelers bounced back with a super raid by Vinay. A few minutes later, it was time for another milestone with Shrikant Jadhav who achieved another milestone of his PKL career by reaching 350 raid points.

Haryana had a little burst of points in the end moments of the first half and reduced the gap to 11-15 going into the break.

The second half started with a super tackle from the young pillars of UP Yoddha. Sumit and Nitesh combined to ensure Vinay was not allowed to escape.

UP Yoddha had a seven-point lead at the beginning of the second half. Shrikant Jadhav then scored a double pointer in dramatic fashion with his foot just crossing the line, sending Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Ravi Kumar back to the bench.

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With 14 minutes left in the half, it seemed Haryana might just make an epic comeback as they reduced the gap to 21-25. But unfortunately for the home side, two errors back-to-back, first with Vinay stepping out of bounds and then Vikas Kandola doing the same on his raid, cost them dearly.

The visitor then inflicted an all-out on Haryana and extended its lead to eight points at 36-28 before finally sealing the contest.

The Yoddha now have 58 points from 18 matches and are placed fifth in the points table. It will next play Dabang Delhi in the first match of its home leg at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex, Greater Noida on October 5.

Gujarat destroys Thalaivas in raid fest

Gujarat Fortunegiants clinched a must-win game against the Tamil Thalaivas 50-21 to keep slender hopes of making it through to the playoffs alive.

Gujarat ended the night with a 29-point win margin, its biggest this season, indicative of how this game panned out.

Lack of communication and an individual style of play from the Thalaivas cost them key points through the game with Gujarat taking full advantage of the confusion at the other end of the mat to amass points.

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A better defensive show from Gujarat ensured Rahul Chaudhari was kept muted through the game, with the showman registering 20 unsuccessful tackles much to his frustration.

The 2018 finalist inflicted three all-outs on the Thalaivas with Ajith and Rahul struggling to stay on the mat for long enough to make any real impact. Sonu Jaglan and Rohit Gulia registered super 10s to their names.

The Thalaivas were the first side to crash out of the tournament. Gujarat will try to avoid a similar fate with the fight in the first half of the table getting harder with each passing game.

Gujarat currently stands eighth in the points table with 44 points from 19 games. It will take on home team Haryana Steelers on Sunday.

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