Patna: The Haryana Steelers played their heart out, but went down 28-35 to the Tamil Thalaivas, while Puneri Paltan got their long-awaited first win of the campaign against Patna Pirates in the Pro Kabaddi League in Patna on Sunday.
In the first match of the evening, Vikash Kandola bolstered the Haryana team after making a return to the side, but the Thalaivas found a way to maintain their lead in the last few minutes of the match. The Haryana Steelers got off to a great start through fantastic raids by Kandola and Naveen in the opening minutes of the match.
Vinay pulled off a brilliant raid point in the sixth minute and Sunil scored a tackle point in the next minute which helped Haryana take a four-point lead.
Kandola widened the gap between the two teams when he helped Haryana carry out an all out of the Tamil Thalaivas team in the eleventh minute.
Naveen and Vinay backed up Kandola with a few raid points as the Haryana Steelers ended the first half with a nine-point lead at 19-10
The Tamil Thalaivas tried to fight back through a tackle point and a few raid points, but raiders Kandola and Naveen ensured that Haryana stay in the lead. Dharmaraj Cheralathan tackled Ajay Thakur in the 26th minute as the Haryana Steelers took a five-point lead at 24-19.
However, the Tamil Thalaivas gained momentum thereafter and clinched raid and tackle points quickly. The Haryana Steelers players fought hard but they couldn't catch up with the Thalaivas once they were in the lead. The Tamil Thalaivas widened the gap when they scored a tackle point in the 35th minute.
Selvamani K pulled off an excellent raid in the 36th minute and Dharmaraj Cheralathan carried out a super tackle in the 38th minute, but the Thalaivas managed to stay in the lead.
The Tamil Thalaivas scored a tackle point in the dying minutes of the match and clinched their second victory of this season. The Haryana Steelers fought valiantly throughout the match, but they couldn't catch up with the Thalaivas after conceding the lead.
Puneri Paltan get off the mark
The Pune defence scored a total of 17 tackle points in 26 tackles, to record only their second-ever victory against Patna Pirates in the PKL, winning by a scoreline of 41-20.
This is the first match for Pune were the defence had more successful tackles than unsuccessful tackles, and it was led by Girish Ernak who scored 4 tackle points in 5 tackles. He was well supported by their Captain Surjeet Singh who scored 3 tackle points in 3 tackles.
Raider Manjeet also scored 3 tackle points from 4 tackles in the match.
The team as a whole got Pardeep out a total of 8 times in the match, nullifying one of the main threats in Patna Pirates' arsenal with great efficiency.
Pune's raiding unit also managed to click, scoring 19 raid points in the match. The best raider was Pankaj Mohite who scored 8 raid points from 8 raids, and all his raid points were touch points.
This has been a disappointing start to Patna Pirates' home leg, with the team having lost both matches on their turf. They'll be hoping to put an end to their sudden drop in form when they take on Haryana Steelers on Wednesday, while Puneri Paltan will look to build on a positive performance with another win when they face the Gujarat Fortunegiants on Monday.
With inputs from Agencies.