Pune: Vikas Kandola was yet again the star of the show for Haryana Steelers as they beat Tamil Thalaivas 43-35 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi, Pune on Saturday.
Vikas Kandola clinched a Super 10 (13 points) for Rakesh Kumar coached Steelers who were given a stiff competition by the Thalaivas in the mid-stages of the match. Rahul Chaudhari clinched a Super 10 (10 raid points) for Thalaivas but it was yet another disjointed performance from the star-studded lineup which meant they remained at the bottom of the points table.
Tamil Thalaivas went into the match on a seven-match losing streak and not so surprisingly it was the Haryana team who dominated the early minutes. Vikas Kandola, ably supported by Vinay, fetched raid points for the Steelers as the closed in on an All-Out. The error-prone Thalaivas defence gave away silly points but there was a fight in them that had been invisible in the previous matches. The Chennai-based unit finally succumbed to an All-Out with six minutes left to the half-time as Haryana moved to a six-point lead. But the Thalaivas came out with renewed energy after the restart, with Manjeet Chhillar and Mohit Chhillar looking good in defence. Rahul Chaudhari also got into the act, picking up his 100th raid point of the season, as the Thalaivas reduced Haryana’s lead to two points at half time (16-14).
Rahul Chaudhari clinched a four-point raid in the first minute of the second half to inflict an All-Out on the Steelers. But Vikas Kandola upped his game to open up the lead once again for Haryana after the All-Out. Just when Haryana were edging close to inflicting another All-Out, Thalaivas’ Victor Obiero produced a stellar raid and a Super Tackle to keep them in the game. Unfortunately for the Thalaivas, Ajith Kumar wasn’t having the best of games in the attack, and the lack of support for Rahul Chaudhari (who clinched a Super 10) finally showed when Vikas Kandola’s four-point raid with under six minutes remaining gave Haryana another All-Out. Vinay’s three-point Super Raid gave a cushion that the Haryana team managed to cling on. The victory consolidated their third position on the table.
Puneri Paltan beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 43-33
Meanwhile, home team Puneri Paltan produced a composed performance to beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 43-33 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi, Pune on Saturday.
Nitin Tomar was the lead raider for the Pune side (Super 10 with 11 raid points), but the defence more than lived up to its billing with Surjeet Singh and Balasaheb Jadhav picking up High 5s in a total domination