PKL 2017 | Vikas Kandola lifts Harayana Steelers over Gujarat Fortunegiants

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PKL 2017 | Vikas Kandola lifts Harayana Steelers over Gujarat Fortunegiants

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SportsCafe Desk


Haryana Steelers beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 32-20 in their Pro Kabaddi League encounter at the Mankapur Stadium in Nagpur. Vikas Kandola led the charge for the Haryana side as he picked up six raid points against a Gujarat defence which seemed extremely clueless on the night.

Haryana manage to stay in front in close first half

Gujarat Fortunegiants won the toss and chose the court which meant that Haryana Steelers would raid first. Surjeet Singh opened the raiding for Haryana and was successful in getting two points in his first attempt by making fantastic use of the lobby. A couple of empty raids followed for both the teams, however, raiding in a do or die situation, Sukesh Hegde was brilliantly brought down to his knees by Surender Nada and Wazir Singh with a chain tackle that gave the Steelers an early 3-0 lead. At that point, Gujarat needed to step up their game as they did so, by successfully getting hold of Vikas Kandola to complete a super tackle, which helped them reduce the deficit to two points at 6-4. A point later, though, the Gujarat defence thought they got hold of Wazir, Haryana made good use of their review to get a point before the Fortunegiants secured two back-to-back points to level the game at 7-7. And it seemed as if nothing was going in favour of Hegde as he failed in his second do-or-die raid attempt when Mohit Chillar managed a fantastic body block to give Haryana a 9-7 lead and another failure from in his next raid saw him being substituted by the management. Despite both the teams going neck to neck, the Steelers managed a slender advantage of four points going into the second half at 13-9. 

Vikas Kandola hands Haryana their first win of season

After the break, Haryana consolidated their position in the game as they managed five consecutive points, which included a super tackle by Wazir Singh that took the scorecard to 18-11. Haryana remained successful in the playing to the opposition's’ strength of starting slow and taking points through a strong defence that reduced Gujarat to two men on the mat. With two Iranians - Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani - on the mat for Gujarat, Kandola successfully slipped away from Atrachali’s clutches to bring Gujarat down to one man. Mighani then tried his luck, but a strong ankle hold by Surjeet on the Iranian helped the Steelers inflict the first all-out of the game and with Haryana enjoying a healthy 19-11 lead, the officials decided to take a timeout. After that, Sachin managed to pull one point back for the Fortunegiants before Mahendra Rajput helped the Gujarat-based team make a comeback to the game with a super raid that took the score to 18-23 for Gujarat. With the Steelers having a six-point lead, Haryana defenders left no stone unturned in their bid to take two points through a super tackle and they eventually, managed to pull that off when Chillar and Nadda combined to stop Sachin to extend Haryana’s lead to 26-18. They followed that up with another super tackle to gain two more points which allowed their raiders to settle for time management as they enjoyed a mammoth 10-point lead with just a minute to go in the game. Despite Gujarat’s late surge, the Steelers managed to pull off their first win of the tournament with a margin of 32-20.

Pardeep Narwal or Rohit Kumar? Which skipper will have more points?

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