The 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championship moved towards its climax on day 4 at the Poornima University in Jaipur. Railways, Services, hosts Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh progressed to the semi-finals in the men’s category, while Indian Railways, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana made the last four in the women’s competition.
In the first men’s quarter-final, Railways outperformed Haryana 44-26 thanks to star raider Vikas Khandola who scored nine raid points for the team that included a super raid. Ravinder Pahal was the best defender for the team as the defending champions inched closer to another final.
The home team Rajasthan beat a young Maharashtra side 47-34. Maharashtra, the 2017 champions had not selected many of its big-name players like Rishank Devadidga, Girish Ernak, Siddharth Desai and Vishal Mane for this tournament.
For Rajasthan, Kamal Kishore scored a Super 10 while their star player Deepak Hooda performed well both defensively and while raiding. Roared on by the home crowd, Rajasthan managed to beat Maharashtra despite Pankaj Mohite’s heroics.
In the third quarter-final, Services handed Karnataka a 54-23 thrashing thanks to young raider Naveen Kumar who excelled yet again for his team by scoring 15 raid points. The youngster was well-supported by the experienced duo of Rohit Kumar and Nitin Tomar, while Sandeep Kandola who returned to kabaddi after a long gap scored a high-five.
Uttar Pradesh edged a see-saw battle against Bihar in the fourth quarter-final to seal a 39-31 victory. U Mumba’s Abhishek Singh was the star of the show scoring ten points. He was well supported by Rahul Chaudhari and Rohit Baliyan who scored eight points each. Haryana Steelers’ Naveen was the lone ranger for Bihar as his impressive 13 raid points in the game went in vain.
The women’s quarter-finals also saw the Railways emerge on top against Goa in the first quarter-final as they triumphed by a huge margin of 30 points, winning 51-21.
Jharkhand were the other team to reach the semi-finals with a 26 -21 win over Bihar before Haryana eased past the home team Rajasthan with the scoreline of 40 – 27. Himachal Pradesh, the powerhouse in women’s kabaddi showed their supremacy with a 32-20 win over Chhattisgarh.
The 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championship will witness its final stage in Jaipur with the semi-finals and finals scheduled to take place on Friday.
Here is the semi-final line-up:
Indian Railways vs Rajasthan
Services vs Uttar Pradesh
Indian Railways vs Jharkhand
Haryana vs Himachal Pradesh