Kolkata: Prashanth Kumar Rai and Vikas Kandola’s Super 10s helped Haryana Steelers thrash league toppers Dabang Delhi K.C. 47-25 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday.
Naveen Kumar secured another Super 10 to keep his streak going (11 matches now) but Delhi lacked the sharpness on the night against a fully charged Haryana side who looked perfect in all departments under the watchful eyes of coach Rakesh Kumar.
A highly entertaining first half between two of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League’s best raiding units saw defenders struggle to get a grip of the match. Match started with the Steelers on the front foot but the momentum changed the moment Delhi managed to send Haryana’s Vikas Kandola to the bench. The Delhi unit rushed to a six-point lead, thanks largely to Naveen Kumar, who was looking in form once again.
But it was Haryana’s Naveen who made the most significant raid in the first half. With the Steelers staring at an All-Out, Naveen produced a stellar four-point Super Raid in the 12th minute to kickstart a Haryana revival. The Steelers went on to capitalise on the shift of balance with Vikas Kandola and Vinay picking up important raid points to inflict an All-Out on the Delhi unit with three minutes remaining. The half ended with the Haryana side leading Delhi 21-13.
Naveen Kumar went into the match on the back of a 10-match Super 10 run but the Haryana defence refused to give the star raider any respect as they tackled him in the early minutes of the second half to set the tone. Despite Chandran Ranjit reaching personal milestone 50 touch points for the season, Delhi have sometimes struggled to back Naveen Kumar’s raiding, and the match was further proof to how reliant Delhi were on the ‘Express’ raider. On the other side, Vikas Kandola was aptly backed by Prashanth Kumar Rai as the Steelers forced another All-Out with eight minutes left in the match.
The Delhi defence capitulated once again and the Steelers clinched another All-Out with under two minutes left in the game and win the match comfortably. The Haryana team’s fifth consecutive victory helped them jump to third in the points table.
Bengal Warriors play draw with Gujarat Fortunegiants
Meanwhile, Maninder Singh’s impressive two-point raid in the final minutes of the match saved home team Bengal Warriors the blushes as they drew 25-25 with the Gujarat Fortunegiants in the first match of the Kolkata-led of VIVO Pro Kabaddi League.
A low scoring match, with saw both sides prevent an All-Out in front of a packed audience at the Netaji Indoor Stadium, had looked to be in Gujarat’s hands in the final minutes but Maninder Singh’s raid, taking out star defenders Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal, helped Bengal clinch a draw.