U Mumba held Haryana Steelers to a 24-24 tie in a vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 game in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Captain Fazel Atrachali had four points in defence for Mumbai in a low-scoring game where defences overpowered the raiders. But Haryana will only have themselves to blame after allowing Abhishek Singh to make a valid final raid of the match with scores tied and no time remaining. All-rounder Rohit Gulia scored eight points for the Steelers.
The first half was a low scoring affair despite both teams having in-form raiders in their line-up. The likes of Abhishek Singh of U Mumba and Vikash Kandola of Haryana found it difficult to get raid points against well-drilled defences.
As it happened:
U Mumba’s Rinku set the tone for the match with an incredible thigh hold in the first move of the match. His captain, Fazel soon joined the party, charging raiders out on the right side of the mat.
At the other end, the established Surender Nada mostly had to watch his Haryana teammates do all the heavy tackling. Mohit was particularly brilliant in the cover position as the Steelers thwarted the Mumbai raiders. The first half ended 10-12 in favour of the Steelers.
The Steelers continued to be rock solid in defence after the interval with Surender Nada impressing with his leadership. U Mumba’s raiders, especially Abhishek Singh, had no answers to the well-marshalled defence as the teams traded blows. The match changed in momentum when U Mumba’s young coach Rajguru Subramanian substituted Abhishek Singh for Ajinkya Kapre. The young raider immediately got a raid point to reduce Haryana to three men on the mat.
Mumbai clinched the first ALL OUT of the match with 8 minutes remaining to open a 3-point lead. Coach Rakesh Kumar had asked Steelers to target Fazel Atrachali on the mat, but the U Mumba captain was in no mood to let them pick points off him. With five minutes on the clock, U Mumba had a narrow lead of two points but the poor performance from the raiders remained a concern.
Vikash Kandola made the scores level with a final minute touch on Fazel Atrachali but Abhishek Singh was allowed to make a valid final raid by a poorly planned Haryana defence. He was the last man on the mat for Mumbai and by staying safe he prevented an ALL OUT that would have helped Haryana win the match.
A complete performance from the raiders and defenders helped Tamil Thalaivas beat U.P Yoddha 39-33 in the second game of the day.
Manjeet (seven points) and substitute Ajinkya Pawar (six points) were impressive among the raiders for Thalaivas while defenders Sagar (five points) and Surjeet Singh (three points) backed them up efficiently. Surender Gill scored 14 points for U.P. Yoddha who could not match the intensity of Tamil Thaliavas on the night.
As it happened:
The first half belonged completely to the team in yellow with Manjeet, K. Prapanjan and Bhavani Rajput finding points easily. Yoddha’s much-famed corner duo of Nitesh Kumar and Sumit struggled against the lanky Tamil raiders. At the other end, Pardeep Narwal had yet another sub-par performance, moving gingerly and getting easily trapped by the defenders. Thalaivas got their first ALL OUT in the 11th minute to open a 6-point gap and went to dominate the closing stages as well. Tamil defenders Surjeet Singh and Sagar had 2 points in a half that ended 21-10 in their favour.
Kabaddi is a game of fine margins and the momentum surprisingly shifted to Yoddha right at the beginning of the second half. Two successive Super Tackles from the combination of Ashu Singh and Shubham Kumar suddenly reduced Thalaivas’ lead.
Surender Gill then got his act together with a 2-point raid. In fact, Surender Gill donned the role of the lead raider while Pardeep struggled to help Yoddha clinch an important ALL OUT in the 8th minute of the half. He secured his Super 10 two minutes later to reduce Thalaivas’ lead to just two points.
Coach Udaya Kumar brought in Ajinkya Pawar for Thalaivas and his quick raid points directed pressure back on Yoddha. Sagar clinched his High 5 in defence as Thalaivas secured their second ALL OUT with 4 minutes remaining. They opened an 8-point lead in the closing stages, but Pardeep Narwal produced a 3-point Super Raid in the final minute to reduce the margin to five. The raid ensured Yoddha got at least one point from the match.
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