Haryana Steelers rose to fifth in the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 standings after a 36-33 win over Bengal Warriors at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Monday. Vikash Kandola played a starring role in the win with 11 raid points and captain Dharmaraj Cheralathan also chipped in with four tackle points.
Bengal Warriors got the scoreboard ticking but Haryana Steelers established early control thanks to a Super Raid by Vinay in the fourth minute. They weren’t on top for too long though as Bengal Warriors responded with a four-point Super Raid by K. Prapanjan three minutes later to alter the complexion of the contest. Bengal Warriors then drove home their advantage while on top and took a 14-10 lead after enforcing the first All-Out of the match with the first successful tackle of the game from either side.
Both teams’ raiding units continued to dominate after the All-Out through a combination of smart raiding and lapses in defence. However, Haryana Steelers’ Kandola was the standout raider in the closing stages of the half as he almost singlehandedly wrestled back the lead for his team. Haryana Steelers ended the half with a 18-17 lead and had reduced Bengal Warriors to just two men on the mat. Kandola, meanwhile, finished the half on eight raid points and without being tackled even once.
Kandola was at it again minutes after the restart and executed a successful raid to inflict the All-Out on Bengal Warriors and extend Haryana Steelers’ lead to 22-18. Kandola then completed his Super 10 – his fourth of the season – but Bengal Warriors’ talisman Maninder Singh continued to show resistance by consistently scoring raid points for his side and completed his Super 10 as well.
Haryana Steelers went into the last 10 minutes of the encounter with their four-point lead intact, but the result was still very much in the balance. A couple of successful tackles and some assured raiding by Maninder added to the tension as Bengal Warriors further reduced the deficit to just two points with a little over five minutes left on the clock.
A successful Do-or-die raid by Mohammad Nabibakhsh then cut Haryana Steelers’ lead to just a solitary point, however, a Super Tackle by their skipper Cheralathan turned the tide in favour of his team. Maninder and Bengal Warriors continued to fight till the end, but Haryana Steelers secured an important three-point victory.
Bengal Warriors –
Best Raider – Maninder Singh (15 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Jeeva Kumar (3 Tackle Points)
Haryana Steelers –
Best Raider – Vikash Kandola (11 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Dharmaraj Cheralathan (4 Tackle Points)