Super 10s from Vikash Kandola and Ashish led Haryana Steelers to a 37-26 win over U Mumba. Kandola finished the game with 14 points, while Ashish was right behind his skipper with 13. With this win, the Steelers closed the gap to second-placed Dabang Delhi to just two points.
The game was evenly poised in the opening few minutes, as neither team could seize the advantage and stayed level on the scoreboard. A tackle point from the Steelers' defence followed by a touch point from Kandola saw the momentum tilt in Haryana’s favour.
Surender Nada’s tackle on V Ajith Kumar reduced U Mumba to just three men on the mat, and Kandola tagged all three in the subsequent raid before diving past the midline to inflict the game’s first All Out and give the Steelers an eight-point lead.
U Mumba responded to the setback with five unanswered points to cut the deficit to three. But four points in three raids from Ashish saw Haryana finish the half stronger and go into the break leading by five.
U Mumba continued to press on to bring parity to the scoreline, but the Steelers thwarted their efforts, as Ashish and Kandola continued to pick up points with relative ease. A touch and a tackle point from Abhishek, followed by another crucial touch point from Ajith saw U Mumba embark on a 3-0 run and cut their deficit to two points.
With his team in a spot of bother, skipper Kandola stepped his game up and picked up four raid points in three attempts to help Haryana reclaim their six-point cushion. But the raider wasn’t done.
He added two more touch points to his tally to reduce U Mumba to a solitary man, and the Steelers’ defence made no mistake in pinning down the final man to inflict another All Out and take a nine-point lead.
With less than a minute left, U Mumba desperately tried to get the deficit to seven or under. But their hastiness caused them to surrender a couple of points more than they scored and they eventually ended up losing by 11 points.
Best Raider – Vikash Kandola (13 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Ashish (3 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Abhishek Singh (9 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Rinku (2 Tackle Points)