Honours even after a hard-fought battle
Tamil Thalaivas tied with Haryana Steelers 32-32 in a ProKabaddi League match at the NSCI indoor stadium on Wednesday.
The deadlock came at the end of a hard-fought contest, with the fans roaring in excitement as specialists from both camps gave a lively demonstration of skills and teamwork.
Two all-outs, once in each half, lent a twist to the tale. Steelers’ skipper Monu Goyat, the raider with the league’s highest price tag, was subdued and did not win a point after four raids — three unsuccessful and one empty. Vikash Khandola stepped up to fill in the void with a game-high 14 raid points.
Thalaivas’ forte was team effort, every player chipping in with points. Sukesh Hegde top-scored with seven while Ajay Thakur contributed six. Manjeet Chillar and Jasvir Singh (four each) were the others who stood out as the team held its nerve under pressure to pick up three points, the same as its opponent.
A repeat of a 25-25 tie, when the two teams clashed earlier in the league, looked a possibility as the Thalaivas tacklers got into the act straight away before the Steelers made a comeback. Raiders with reputations faced a tough time. Monu Goyat returned empty-handed after four raids in the first half, trapped thrice and once without touching any rival.
Steelers chipped away steadily at the lead gained by Thalaivas, culminating in an all-out in the former’s favour. Sukesh and Ajay faced difficulty breaching the defensive wall. Vikash (eight raid points) remained ahead of the pack with seven successful raids from 10 attempted till half-time.
Switching sides with a four-point lead, Steelers ran into resistance from their opponent before it ended in a thrilling tie.
The result: Tamil Thalaivas 32 (Sukesh Hegde 7) tied with Haryana Steelers 32 (Vikash Khandola 14).