An all-round performance from Haryana Steelers saw them surpass a solid defence from Dabang Delhi K.C. to seal the match 34-31 at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai in Sonepat on Thursday to end their home leg on a high.
Raider Vikash Khandola's two Super Raids ensured that the home side grabbed the advantage mid-way through the second half allowing Haryana Steelers to maintain momentum in what had been a back-and-forth nail-biting contest until then.
Check out the photos from the match here.
Khandola nearly got a Super 10, ending up with nine points, while Left Cover Parveen managed a sound High 5. At the other end, Chandran Ranjit and Pawan Kumar Kadian bagged 15 raid points between them while Ravinder Pahal showed a High 5 for his efforts and captain Joginder Narwal managed to get four tackle points.
Haryana Steelers had got the momentum early in the game with Monu Goyat leading from the front ably pillared by the defence. When Khandola got Meraj Sheykh out in the eighth minute, the scoreline read 9-5 in Haryana Steelers' favour. Dabang Delhi K.C. managed to stay in the match nevertheless, with the raiding trio of Kadian, Ranjit and Naveen Kumar keeping the score ticking.
Super Tackles galore
The gap soon ballooned to four points again with Dabang Delhi K.C. down to two men in the 14th minute. It's here when Pahal stepped up leading a Super Tackle, with the help of skipper Joginder Narwal, that levelled the scores 13-all when their attempt sent Goyat out. With two minutes left on the clock another Super Tackle by Pahal, this time on Khandola, got Dabang Delhi K.C. the lead for the first time in the match. The half ended 16-14 with Haryana Steelers on the backfoot courtesy of an astute Dabang Delhi K.C. defence.
When the second half started, Dabang Delhi K.C. continued where they left off. This time Joginder Narwal getting into the act with a Super Tackle of his own, aided by Pahal and Ranjit, giving their team an 18-15 advantage. Haryana Steelers had to respond when they lost Goyat to Narwal's grip around his waist that grounded his counterpart and handed Dabang Delhi K.C. a four-point lead.
So, when Ranjit went in to raid he found himself at the receiving end of a Super Tackle at the hands of Parveen. Then Khandola's Super Raid got Pahal, Narwal and Naveen Kumar out, handing Haryana Steelers the lead. Dabang Delhi K.C. were soon All-Out with the scoreline reading 20-23 against the visitors.
Super Raid seals the deal
When they reassembled, Khandola's form continued with another Super Raid, his Bonus added with the dismissal of Kadian and Narwal, that provided Haryana Steelers a six-point lead, and set up enough buffer that would take them to the end.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
Dabang Delhi K.C. continued their fight but Haryana Steelers strategically ran the clock out in the closing stages to sign off from Sonepat with a victory.