Vikas Kandola turned out to be the star performer for Haryana Steelers as it beat the three-time champions Patna Pirates 39-34 in a Pro Kabaddi League match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.
Vikas picked up a 'Super-10' (13 raid points) as Steelers produced a complete performance to quell the challenge of Pardeep Narwal and the Pirates.
The victory helped Steelers consolidate its third position on the points table.
The Haryana outfit didn’t show signs of missing it experienced defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan as in started the match on the front foot. Patna’s Pardeep was successfully tackled twice in succession and that helped Haryana build a lead in the early minutes.
Also Read | Haryana beats Patna, Bengaluru holds Delhi to tie- As it happened
Vikas also looked sharp for the Steelers, picking up vital raid points as the Steelers inflicted the first 'All-out' on the 11th minute to move to a five-point lead.
But a stubborn Patna fought back. Its defenders tightened up to strangle Haryana raiders, while, in attack, Pardeep went about doing his business, ably supported by Jang Kun Lee.
The first half ended with Haryana on top at 17-15.
The early minutes of the second half was dominated by the Pirates but the Steelers clawed back into the game, thanks to some astute raiding by Vikas.
The raider made two multi-point raids in the fourth minute of the second half to open up a lead for the Haryana side, which went onto inflict another 'All-out' in the ninth minute to once again open up a six-point lead.
Pardeep produced a massive four-point 'Super-raid' with eight minutes left to make the match a close affair but Haryana’s raiding unit immediately fought back and restored its seven-point cushion.
The Steelers secured another 'All-out' with under three minutes left in the match to open up a nine-point lead and despite Pardeep’s valiant efforts, Patna could not find a way back into the match.
-Bengaluru snubs Delhi off a win with tie-
With three seconds left on the clock and a one-point lead, Dabang Delhi would have expected its star raider Naveen Kumar to secure his team a victory. However, Bengaluru Bulls' Amit Sheoran had other ideas as he executed a brilliant ankle hold in the left corner to draw his team level and tie the game at 39-39 in the second match of the day.
As has been the case in the recent past, Pawan Sehrawat started strong with a string of raid points for the Bulls. However, Delhi made a comeback once Delhi's Vishal Mane and Joginder Narwal found their mojo and repeatedly tackled Pawan.
Naveen Kumar continued to make merry and right after reaching 200 raid points this season, he helped Delhi inflict the first 'All-out' of the match on Bengaluru. Dabang ended the first half 22-19 in its favour.
Delhi exerted high pressure from the onset of the second half and, soon after Naveen brought up his 15th consecutive 'Super-10' and 16th overall of the season, piled further misery on Bengaluru by effecting a second 'All-out'.
However, the men in red were in no mood of giving up as Pawan led the fightback. He registered his 'Super-10' as Bulls struck with its first 'All-out'.
Leading 38-39, Naveen Kumar went it for the last raid. However, he failed to get his team five points as Delhi had to settle for a draw after Amit Sheoran held the raider back with brute force and both teams walked away with three points each.
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