By Abhishek Purohit
Hyderabad, Aug 2 (IANS) Gujarat Fortunegiants and Haryana Steelers played the first draw of the fifth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL), with the teams deadlocked at 27-27 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
Haryana captain Surender Nada starred in the Zone A match between two teams with strong defences. Surender bagged seven tackle points to rescue his team, while Vikash Khandola (seven points) was the key raider for them.
For Gujarat, who had a 20-13 lead following Haryana’s all out in the 28th minute, substitute Mahendra Rajput was the main contributor with five raiding points. Sukesh Hegde and Sachin got three raiding points each, while Indian defenders Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal got three tackling points each.
Their team effort gave them a strong beginning but each time they took a healthy lead, Haryana kept fighting back.
Gujarat threatened early on, racing away to a 4-0 lead. Sachin earned two touch points to open Gujarat’s account. Haryana’s Wazir Singh sidestepped while returning from a raid as Gujarat led 3-0. Rakesh Singh was touched out by Sachin making it 4-0.
Then, substitute Prashant Kumar Rai brought home the first point for Haryana with a touch point which revived them to four players.
Rai made it 2-4 before Sachin was caught to cut the deficit to one. Sukesh Hegde then made it 5-3 before Vikash Khandola earned one touch to bring it to 4-5.
Rakesh Narwal was caught and then Khandola was nabbed as Gujarat led 7-4. Haryana fought back again as Sachin and Hegde were caught and Rai struck again to equalise 7-7.
Then, Mayur Shivtarkar, Rakesh and Wazir were tackled by the robust Gujarat defence as the western outfit gained a three-point advantage, with the score at 11-8 at half-time.
At the beginning of the second half, substitute Surjeet Singh got two touch points as Haryana, facing an all-out, recovered two players and equalised 11-11.
Then, the rock-solid Gujarat defence tackled one raider after another to give them a big advantage. A big moment of the match came when Haryana, reduced to two men, were all out when Hegde struck two touch points, removing Rai and Neeraj Kumar in the 28th minute. Following this Gujarat led 20-13
Afterwards, Haryana showed a lot of grit and determination to resurrect their position. Khandola, who struggled for the better part of the match, incursed into Gujarat’s half and returned with magical three touch points to make it 20-22 and then Haryana forced an all out on Gujarat to equalise at the 23-point mark.
Later, Mahendra Rajput and Surjeet Singh brought couple of points for Gujarat and Haryana as they ended the match at 27-27.
(Abhishek Purohit can be contacted at [email protected]).
Post Source: Ians feed