A sensational second-half display from the Haryana Steelers helped them beat the Bengal Warriors 41-37 and climb to sixth on the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 points table. Meetu and Vikash Kandola combined to score 19 points for the Steelers, while Warriors captain Maninder Singh was the game’s top scorer with 14.
The two teams split the first six points evenly, but then the Warriors kicked into gear, outscoring the Steelers 4-1 to take a 7-4 lead and reduce the Steelers to three players on the mat. Haryana managed to cut the deficit to one courtesy of a Super Tackle from Jaideep, but Bengal responded with three unanswered points to reclaim their advantage and keep the Steelers pegged on the backfoot.
Maninder escaped a tackle attempt from Ravi Kumar to reduce the Steelers to a solitary man on the mat, and the Warriors’ defence pinned him down in the subsequent raid to inflict the game’s first All Out and take a six-point lead.
Haryana conjured a quick response to the setback, as Surender Nada and Meetu combined to add three unanswered points to their team’s tally to cut the deficit to three. Vikash Kandola’s acrobatic kick added another point to his team’s total before Jaideep stranded Sukesh Hegde with a block as the Steelers cut the Warriors’ lead to two.
A Super Tackle from Nabibakhsh and a two-point raid from Maninder pushed the Warriors’ lead back up to five. But two touch points from Meetu in the final raid of the first half helped Haryana cut the deficit to just three and leave the Steelers with a solitary man on the mat.
As his team’s lone man on the mat, Maninder offered no resistance and gave up a touch point to the Steelers, which inflicted an All Out on the Warriors and brought parity to the scoreline.
With momentum on their side, the Steelers took charge of the contest. They outscored the Warriors 9-6 in the next 10 minutes to build a three-point lead and reduced them to just three players on the mat. Maninder picked up a bonus in two successive raids, but the defence surrendered two touch points to leave their skipper as the lone man on the mat yet again.
Maninder picked up another bonus and looked for a touch point but was promptly pinned down by the Steelers’ defence, giving Haryana a five-point lead. Over the next four minutes, Maninder and Nabibakhsh combined to help the Warriors outscore the Steelers 7-5 and cut the deficit to three points.
With the Warriors on the surge, Kandola shouldered the responsibility of halting them and managed to do so with a two-point raid that pushed the Steelers’ lead up to five with just over a minute left in the game. Maninder and Nabibakhsh helped the Warriors add a few more points to their team’s total, but it was too little, too late as the Steelers extended their unbeaten run to three.
Best Raider – Meetu (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Jaideep (4 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Maninder Singh (14 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sachin Vittala (5 Tackle Points)