The opening match at Panchkula will pit home side Haryana Steelers against U.P. Yoddha at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex on Saturday. U.P. Yoddha have won six of their last seven matches and a victory could see them equal Bengaluru Bulls in points and close the gap to third-placed Haryana Steelers to just a solitary point.
Match 111: Haryana Steelers vs. U.P. Yoddha
Head-to-head: Haryana Steelers 1 - 1 U.P. Yoddha
Win Rate: 64.71%
Best Raider: Vikash Kandola
Best Defender: Sunil
A run of seven wins, one tie and a loss in their past nine matches has seen Haryana Steelers climb to third in the standings, just a point clear of Bengaluru Bulls. Raider Vikash Kandola has often been the star of the show for them and is averaging just a shade under 10 raid points in his 14 appearances so far this season. Rookie raider Vinay has also been a major contributor for the side and has scored 80 raid points, while the return of Prashanth Kumar Rai has further bolstered the side with another quality option to bank upon. The chemistry between the trio has been perfect so far this season. Haryana Steelers’ defensive unit has only improved as the season has progressed and their quartet of Sunil, Vikas Kale, Ravi Kumar and skipper Dharmaraj Cheralathan have all scored over 35 tackle points this season. With youth driving the offence and experience holding fort, Haryana Steelers have found the perfect synergy and will look to show that to the home fans in Panchkula, starting Saturday.
Win Rate: 52.94%
Best Raider: Shrikant Jadhav
Best Defender: Sumit
U.P. Yoddha’s stellar run in the past seven matches has seen them pick 31 points out of a possible 35 and leapfrog Jaipur Pink Panthers in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 standings into sixth spot. The Corner duo of Sumit and skipper Nitesh Kumar has led the defence with authority and combined to score 101 tackle points this season, the second highest among Corner duos in Season 7. In attack, Shrikant Jadhav has established himself as the lead raider with his fine performances and is currently on pace to eclipse his career-high of 141 raid points in a single season that he managed in the previous campaign. Rookie Surender Gill and veteran Rishank Devadiga have ably supported Jadhav and have scored 47 and 45 raid points respectively. The presence of three quality raiders and the imminent return of Monu Goyat gives U.P. Yoddha a versatile four-pronged attack that can score points against any defensive unit that they come up against. A victory on Saturday will see them cut the gap to Haryana Steelers to just one point, further bolstering their chances of finishing in the top 6.