Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Nihit Sachdeva and I will be taking you through today's PKL 8 match between Dabang Delhi and Haryana Steelers.
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Second match of the evening between U.P. Yoddha and Bengal Warriors is about to begin and my colleague Shyam Vasudevan is covering that. You can follow our live coverage here: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: UP Yoddha beats Bengal Warriors 40-36 despite Maninder Singh scoring 19 points
Summary: Vikash Kandola's team have avenged their 25-28 loss to Dabang Delhi from six days ago. Haryana was dominant from the get go and had a commanding eight-point lead going into half-time. Both teams added four points to their tally in the initial few minutes of the second half before the moment of madness. In a repeat of yesterday's raid of Mohammad Nabibakhsh where the Bengal Warriors' players went into the lobbies without a touch and the Bengaluru Bulls followed him and got self-out, today, at 15-23, Delhi's Vijay went in. The raider tried to get a touch on Ravi Kumar on the right corner, failed but since it was too close to be judged by the naked eye, the Haryana defense took him down. However, Vijay had unknowingly stepped into the lobbies without a touch and therefore, five of the Steelers' defenders who touched him got self out making the score 20-24. Thankfully, the incident did not prove to be match-defining as Haryana managed to hang on in the end and win by three points.
33-36: Final raid of the match and it is a do-or-die one. Vikash Kandola can run down the clock and return because one point won't make a difference to the outcome. However, he tries a running hand touch on Sandeep who pushes him off the mat but himself goes out of bounds too. One point each. Redemption is complete as Haryana Steelers beat table topper Dabang Delhi 36-33!!!
32-35: Less than a minute to go, Sandeep rushes in for the raid but Ravi Kumar sacrifices himself as he gives an easy touch point but makes sure that Sandeep does not get more than that.
31-35: Vijay goes in and does not come back. Haryana defense is charged at this point and won't let anyone escape.
Manjeet has been issued a yellow card for arguing with the officials which means two-minutes suspension. The time left is less than two minutes. Therefore, that's that for him.
31-33: Vikash Kandola! He brings Haryana's lead back with a bonus and touch point.
31-31: Parity restored. Vinay is not satisfied with what he is doing in the raiding department as he goes for a solo tackle on Neeraj. Neeraj had picked up a bonus already and now he gets a touch point today.
29-31: Krishan Dhull breaks himself from the chain to go for a thigh hold on Vinay. Fails. Touch point for Vinay.
29-30: Wow! What a time to do a multi-point raid, Neeraj! He tried for the touch at the right corner, turned back as Ravi Kumar went for him while Jaideep came for the block in front. Neeraj manages to defy both and gets his hand across the mid-line.
27-30: And he does exactly that. Vinay picks up a bonus.
Coach Rakesh Kumar has instructed his Haryana raiders to at least get a bonus even if they get tackled.
Final strategic time-out. Five minutes to go.
27-29: Jeeva with ANOTHER UNSUCCESSFUL TACKLE. The man is simply unable to do anything right today as he tries to stop Vinay on his own from the left corner but the raider finds enough strength to make it past the mid-line.
25-28: ALL OUT!!! No handshake as such and Vinay tries to take Vijay alone. Not everyone is Rinku Singh or Surjeet.
22-28: Vikash goes in for the raid, picks up a bonus but on his way back has been taken off the mat with a back hold by Sandeep. However, Sandeep himself is off the mat too and therefore Haryana pick one more point.
Vikash subbed in for Akshay.
21-26: Two defenders on the mat for Haryana - Ravi and Akshay. Sandeep goes in for the raid, baits Ravi into going for the ankle hold and then returns.
First strategic time-out. Ten minutes to go. What happened in Vijay's raid, similar had happened in Nabibakhsh's and it ended up being match-defining in yesterday's Bengaluru Bulls vs Bengal Warriors fixture. Will the same happen today?
20-26: Another bonus picked up by Vikash who gets his SUPER 10.
20-25: Vikash picks up a bonus.
20-24: Not again. This is ridiculous. Vijay went in for the raid, didn't get a touch on Ravi on the right corner and stepped into the lobbies. However, five Haryana defenders followed him and all are self-out. Haryana have understandably taken the review but the decision goes against them.
15-23: Skipper gets skipper. An easy running hand touch on Manjeet on the left corner for Vikash who is moving closer to his Super 10.
15-22: Do-or-die raid for Delhi and it is sub Neeraj Narwal who goes in. However, he looks clueless and walks straight into Surender's block.
15-21: Krishan keeps it going. A crucial tackle, this time on Vinay.
14-21: Ashu Malik comes in for the raid, again escapes Surender's hold on the left but on his way back, Ravi Kumar pushes him off the mat.
14-20: First tackle point of the night for Delhi. Vikash again dared to go deep but this time Krishan Dhull got the ankle hold before his teammates came in for the assist.
13-20: Vijay picks up a bonus point.
12-20: One of the rare blemishes for Haryana today has been Jaideep and it continues as he tries an ankle hold on Ashu Malik but fails.
11-20: Vikash looks unstoppable today. Four-man defense of Delhi and he was still allowed to go deep and get a touch off Sandeep Narwal.
It has been a shocking performance from the Dabang Delhi defense that does not have even a single tackle point till now. They had looked so compact in the previous games but today, those two games seem like a distant memory.
HALF-TIME: Dabang Delhi 11-19
11-19: Final raid of the first half and it is a do-or-die one for Haryana. Skipper Vikash comes in, looks for options and then wins a touch point off his counterpart Manjeet Chhillar who went for the block.
11-18: Ashu Malik picks a bonus.
10-18: Surender's third unsuccessful tackle of the night as he goes for a back hold on Ashu Malik but the youngster escaped that quickly.
8-15: Another duel between the veterans Sandeep Narwal and Surender who tries to push the beast off the mat but Surender is too strong.
7-15: Jeeva with another unsuccessful tackle. This time, the raider who gets a point is Vinay.
7-12: ALL OUT!!! Vijay has been subbed for the raid, He does enough to get a bonus but nothing more than that as the Haryana defense is all over him
6-9: Vikash goes in for the raid and sends Delhi's man in-form back to the bench. Yes, it's a touch point off Sandeep Narwal.
6-8: Sandeep Narwal, final Delhi player on the mat, goes in for the raid, gets the bonus and then uses his height to get his hand across the line despite a tackle by Surender Nada. Haryana defense was sensible in not going for the assist.
4-8: Two players on the mat and Vikash sends one back to the bench as Manjeet Chhillar went for a half-hearted attempt to block him.
4-7: Excellent toe touch by Vikash on left corner Malak. All out for Delhi is close now.
4-6: Do-or-die raid, Ashu Malik goes flying off the mat due to a brilliant dash by Mohit.
4-5: Vikash Kandola in for the raid, doesn't get a touch on the right corner but sees Jeeva dashing towards him. Vikash had the momentum with him and easily negotiated Jeeva. Delhi have wasted their review contesting that Vikash was self-out.
4-4: Vinay with the first multi-point raid of the night. The raider first escaped Vijay's ankle hold at left corner and while on his way back, managed to get past Krishan Dhull's block.
4-2: It's do-or-die raid for Delhi now and Vijay is in. He does not have to do much as Mhit has inflicted a self-out. Careless.
3-2: Too much adrenaline too soon, I believe. It was a do-or-die raid for Haryana, Ashish had come in and Sandeep tried to take him down when the tackle wasn't exactly on.
3-1: Clever. Sandeep Narwal came in for the raid and made it look like he was going for a touch on the corner but then he suddenly turned and got a touch on dangerous defender Jaideep in the middle.
2-1: Ashish opens Haryana's account with a bonus point.
2-0: Vijay picks up a bonus point in his first raid.
1-0: Great start from Sandeep Narwal as he gets a toe touch on Ravi Kumar.
TOSS - Haryana Steelers win the toss. Dabang Delhi K.C. to raid first.
Dabang Delhi K.C.: Manjeet Chhillar (c), Vijay, Jeeva Kumar, Sandeep Narwal, Ashu Malik, Krishan Dhull, Mohammad Malak
Subs: Mohit Bhainswal, Neeraj Narwal, Balram, Deepak, Vinay Kumar
Haryana Steelers: Vikash Kandola (c), Vinay, Ashish Narwal, Surender Nada, Jaideep Dahiya, Mohit Nandal, Ravi Kumar
Subs: Rohit Gulia, Meetu, Mohammad Mahalli, Shrikant Tewthia, Akshay
7:15PM: Head-to-head stats: Matches played - 9, Matches won by Haryana Steelers - 6, Matches won by Dabang Delhi - 3
7:05PM: Haryana Steelers come into this match after a decent 37-30 win over Puneri Paltan where Jaideep and Mohit put a defensive masterclass to silence the likes of Nitin Tomar and Aslam Inamdar. Captain Vikash Kandola and Meetu took care of the rest which finally ended a three-match winless streak of the Steelers. Haryana would hope to carry forward the momentum from that victory into the match against Dabang Delhi and avenge the 25-28 defeat of six days ago. A win against Delhi would take Haryana from ninth to fifth.
6:55PM: Dabang Delhi are back to how they started the season. After a 22-61 thrashing against Bengaluru Bulls, Delhi are unbeaten in two games. The crucial bit here is that Delhi won these two games with star raider Naveen Kumar out for most part due to a knee injury. Captain Manjeet Chillar and other defenders have looked more relaxed and disciplined. In the absence of Naveen, all-rounders Vijay and Sandeep Narwal have taken the responsibility in the raiding department. Delhi can further strengthen their position at the top of the points table if they can repeat the performance of six days ago when they beat Haryana Steelers 28-25.
6:45PM: The 2022 edition of the Sportstar Aces Awards is back and we are celebrating the marvellous year for Indian Sports that 2021 was. From Neeraj Chopra and the other Olympic and Paralympic medallists to the Indian cricket team, we have a bunch of nominees who need your vote to win! Support your favourite athlete/team here .
6:35PM: Another helpful reminder of the rules. If you need it!
6:30PM: Hello folks! Welcome to our live coverage of the first game of the evening between Dabang Delhi K.C. and Haryana Steelers. Before we get to that, here is our review of the season so far by my colleague Lavanya Lakshminarayanan -