Vikas Khandola was once again the star for Haryana Steelers as they overcame a stiff challenge from the Bengal Warriors to win the Pro Kabaddi match 36-33 at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi on Monday.

The high-scoring game belonged to the raiders with Khandola and Maninder Singh (Bengal Warriors) securing Super 10s (awarded to raiders who get 10 or more raid points) as both defences struggled to get a stranglehold of the match.

Maninder, on the back of a Super 10 in his previous outing, put the Warriors on the front foot right from the start with his fruitful raids. But the game’s first big moment arrived when Haryana’s Vinay produced a three-point super raid in the second minute to send Warriors’ defensive trio of Viraj Vishnu Landge, Jeeva Kumar and Rinku Narwal to the dugout.

K Prapanjan had other plans though, as he produced in a four-point super raid in the sixth minute to sway the match back in Warriors’ favour. Bengal used the momentum to inflict the first all-out of the match on Haryana in the 11th minute.

However, despite the all-out, Haryana remained in the game, thanks mostly to the raiding performances from Khandola who also reached a personal milestone of 300 raid points in Pro Kabaddi. The high-scoring first half, which saw both defences struggling to find a successful tackle, ended with Haryana in better shape, sitting on a slender lead of one point (18-17).

Haryana got their first all-out of the match in the second minute after restart to open up a lead with both defences continuing to struggle. Khandola raced to a Super 10 in the 5th minute of second-half while Maninder got his Super 10 in the subsequent raid for the Warriors.

The Bengal raider also crossed 500 points in Pro Kabaddi as the Warriors reduced the Haryana men on the court to two. But the experienced Dharmaraj Cheralathan produced a crucial super tackle with less than 6 minutes in the clock to prevent what had looked a certain all-out.

The 44-year-old Kabaddi stalwart steadied the defence in the dying minutes of the match to secure an important win for the Steelers. The win, Steelers’ fifth in six matches, pushed the Haryana team to fifth in the table.

UP Yoddha see off late Puneri Paltan rally

An all-round performance from UP Yoddha saw them beat a struggling Puneri Paltan 35-30 in the second Pro Kabaddi game on Monday.

Shrikant Jadhav, with a Super 10 was the star for the UP team, as the result saw Yoddha jump to seventh on the points table.

Pune coach Anup Kumar was forced to assign the raiding duties to Manjeet and young Pankaj Mohite after Nitin Tomar was ruled out due to an injury. Similarly, the experienced raiding duo of Monu Goyat and Rishank Devadiga weren’t part of the starting seven for UP as they handed over the raiding duties to Shrikant Jadhav and Surender Gill.

But the young players rose up to occasion, especially Shrikant Jadhav, who scored 8 raid points in a first half that saw UP Yoddha inflict an all-out on the Paltan in the 12th minute. A raid-heavy first half ended 16-9 in favour of the UP team.

Manjeet started the second half brightly for Pune, heeding to his coach’s advice and picking up valuable bonus points. But UP’s defence, especially Sumit and Ashu Singh, picked their game up after the restart to ensure Yoddha remained in the lead. A two-point raid by Shrikant Jadhav in the 31st minute of the game forced another all-out on the Pune side while the raider secured his Super 10.

Pune struggled to come into the match despite Manjeet’s solo efforts that saw him secure a Super 10 with 6 minutes on the clock. He enforced an all-out on UP with a two-point raid with two minutes remaining but the Yoddha defence held firm, thanks to a High 5 by Sumit, to clinch an important victory. Paltan’s defeat means they continue to remain second from bottom in the table.

With Tuesday being a rest day, the action will resume on Wednesday with Gujarat Fortunegiants’ game against Haryana Steelers and Dabang Delhi’s match against U Mumba.

Points Table

1 DABANG DELHI K.C 9 7 1 1 41 39
2 JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS 11 7 4 0 31 37
3 BENGAL WARRIORS 10 5 3 2 58 34
4 BENGALURU BULLS 11 6 5 0 17 33
5 U MUMBA 10 5 5 0 5 29
6 HARYANA STEELERS 10 6 4 0 -23 31
7 U.P.YODDHA 11 4 5 2 -71 27
9 TAMIL THALAIVAS 10 3 5 2 6 25
10 TELUGU TITANS 10 3 5 2 -33 23
11 PUNERI PALTAN 10 3 6 1 -24 20
12 PATNA PIRATES 10 3 7 0 -27 18