Raider Vikash Khandola starred yet again with 12 points as Haryana Steelers registered their second consecutive win, beating defending champions Bengaluru Bulls 33-30 in a thrilling match of the Pro Kabaddi at the TransStadia arena in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Vikash started on a positive note for the Steelers, scoring a point off his very first raid. Bulls initially took the lead, but Vikash removed main man Pawan Sehrawat out of the equation during a do-or-die raid.
In the very next minute, Steelers captain Dharmaraj Cheralathan tackled Mohit Sehrawat and got the Steelers within reach of the Bulls.
Pawan, who has been in great form during this season for Bengaluru, was kept in check by the defenders of Haryana. Their captain Rohit Kumar was coming up with successful raids to keep the scoreboard ticking for the Bulls.
Towards the end of the first period, Haryana closed in on the gap with successful tackles and raids. Bulls were all-out for the first time in the match during the last play of the first-half.
It was one of the best comebacks by Steelers this season with Vikash also reaching a personal milestone of 200 successful raids. The Bulls were now just a point away for Steelers at the end of the first period at 17-16.
At the start of the second-half, defender Vikas Kale did his job to perfection as Steelers took the lead for the very first time in the match.
Both teams were neck and neck but Vikash ensured Steelers walked away with five points. Apart from successful raids, the raider contributed defensively as well to take his team home as they won their third match of the season 33-30.
Haryana Steelers will take on UP Yoddha next on Wednesday.
Fortunegiants’ losing streak continues
Gujarat Fortunegiants slipped to their second loss at home and their fourth straight in the competition when they lost 30-24 to Telugu Titans.
Titans’ star raider Siddharth Desai picked up 7 raid points, but it was the 16 tackle points by the defence that helped them to their first victory in this season. Vishal Bhardwaj led the charge picking up a High 5.
Trailing 13-17 at the break, Gujarat’s More GB was sent to the bench by Vishal Bhardwaj early in the second period. However, it did not take Fortunegiants very long to open their account, through a successful Rohit Gulia raid. Defenders Bhainswal and Bhardwaj then took control of the match and brought up their High 5s in quick succession as the match stayed close.
But Titans captain Abozar Mohajermighani stepped up at a vital time for his team, first sending back Fortunegiants’ most successful raider of the season Gulia and then taking down More to send the visitors’ lead up to six points.
Bhainswal, though, stood strong for Fortunegiants and picked up Suraj Desai twice in do-or-die raids to keep the score difference in check.
But Ankit, who had stepped out of bounds, was involved in the tackle giving the point to Titans. The six-point gap this opened up remained till the end of the match as Telugu Titans went on to claim their first-ever Pro Kabaddi victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants.