Monu Goyat showed glimpses of his old dominating self on the mat, guiding Patna Pirates to a thrilling 42-39 win over Haryana Steelers on day 02 of the Pro Kabaddi League in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Gujarat Giants' rock solid defence helped the side cruise to a comfortable 34-27 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers while Dabang Delhi made short work of an unsure Puneri Paltan side in its 41-30 victory in the other matches of the day.
As it happened:
Pro Kabaddi Highlights: Sachin takes Patna Pirates past Haryana Steelers, Naveen shines for Dabang Delhi; Gujarat Giants beat Jaipur Pink Panthers
Gujarat Giants 34-27 Jaipur Pink Panthers
Giants’ defence proved to be too hot to handle for the Panthers as the Season 1 Champion succumbed to a 34 – 27 defeat in their opening match.
Girish Maruti Ernak secured a HIGH 5 (7 tackle points) and was ably accompanied by teammate Parvesh Bhainswal (4 raid points) as Gujarat secured an important victory to open its campaign.
Jaipur, despite matching blows for most of the match, didn’t have the raiding strength to a well-oiled Gujarat defence but will take positives from a tactically-fought Kabaddi match.
New recruit Arjun Deshwal impressed for the Panthers in the raids.
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Dabang Delhi 41-30 Puneri Paltan
Naveen Kumar was the star for Dabang Delhi K.C. as it beat Puneri Paltan 41 – 30 in their season opener. The prolific raider scored 16 points and was ably matched by his raiding partner Vijay (9 points), as they gave Pune defenders a torrid time on the mat.
The match was billed as a head to head between two of the country’s top raiders – Naveen Kumar of Delhi and Rahul Chaudhari of Pune – and the early minutes showed glimpses of both athletes and their abilities. Rahul opened to scores for Pune, who despite lacking the experience of Delhi, seemed keen to match them blow for blow.
But Naveen “express” Kumar had other plans as he clinched points raid after raids to reduce the Pune men on the mat.
Experienced Ajay Thakur didn’t have to make a single raid for Delhi despite starting the match.
Pune coach and Kabaddi legend Anup Kumar had asked his men to target Delhi’s Manjeet Chhillar and that is exactly what they did in the second half.
But a revived Naveen Kumar was in no mood to let Pune sniff an opportunity, claiming a super 10 in the process. Aslam Inamdar’s late cameo wasn’t enough for Pune to make a comeback.
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Patna Pirates 42-39 Haryana Steelers
Haryana Steelers played out a close encounter against the Patna Pirates in their first match of the season. The Pirates attained momentum in the second half, however, the Steelers kept fighting to earn the lead before going down 39-42 in the match. Rohit Gulia was Steelers' best player with 10 raid points in the game, while Monu Goyat stole the show with a 15-point haul, reminiscent of his form in earlier seasons.
Super raids from Gulia and Goyat were standout moments from the game while Prashant Kumar Rai managed to complement Goyat and Sachin Tanwar ably as the third raider for the Pirates. Surender Nada's experience was vital for the Steelers as they kept clawing back into the game in bits.
Vikas Kandola was unplayable in the do-or-die raids and was helped by Meetu and Gulia who carried out a raid in the dying minutes of the match to help Haryana inch closer to Patna's score. However, the Pirates held on to their lead and clinched a thriller.