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First victory for Telugu Titans in PKL, Haryana Steelers win



Abozar Mighani and Rohit Gulia in action on Sunday in Ahmedabad.

Ne Delhi: Telugu Titans were led by a commanding Vishal Bhardwaj as they defeated Gujarat Fortunegiants 30-24 here on Sunday. Siddharth Desai picked up 7 raid points, but it was the 16 tackle point performance of the Telugu Titans defence that ultimately guided them to their first Season 7 victory.

The Desai brothers – Siddharth and Suraj – started off with successful raids to get Telugu Titans off to a good start. Amit Kumar then stepped up as the third raider to send Gujarat Fortunegiants’ primary raider Sachin to the bench.

The visitors managed to reduce Gujarat Fortunegiants to two men in the first seven minutes and, two raids later, inflicted their first Season 7 All-Out, taking a 9-4 lead.

Telugu Titans captain Abozar Mohajermighani stepped up at a vital time for his team, first sending back Gujarat Fortunegiants’ most successful raider of the season Gulia and then taking down More G B to send the visitors’ lead up to six points.

Bhainswal, though, stood strong for Gujarat Fortunegiants and picked up Suraj Desai twice in Do-or-Die raids to keep the score difference in check. Armaan then came in with just over a minute left in the contest and was tackled down.

But Ankit, who had stepped out of bounds, was involved in the tackle giving the point to Telugu Titans. The six-point gap this opened up remained till the end of the match as Telugu Titans went on the claim their first-ever of Pro Kabaddi victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants.

Haryana beat Bengaluru 33-30

Haryana Steelers prevailed over Bengaluru Bulls by a scoreline for 33-30 in a game that went to the final raid. Vikash Kandola starred for Haryana Steelers with his second Super 10 in as many games.

Bengaluru Bulls’ raiders Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar were off the blocks quickly and combined for five raid points in the first four minutes, as they raced to a 6-1 lead.

Vikash Kandola’s touch point in a Do-Or-Die raid and Dharmaraj Cheralathan’s Super Tackle helped Haryana Steelers cut down Bengaluru Bulls’ lead, but skipper Rohit scored three points in quick succession and reduced Haryana Steelers down to just a solitary man on the mat.

Vikas Kale’s tackle on Sumit Singh and Kandola’s successful raid in a Do-Or-Die situation put Haryana Steelers up by two points with just over two minutes left in the contest.

But Mohit Sehrawat’s touch point on Kuldeep revived Pawan Sehrawat and the reigning MVP showcased his value as a defender, tackling down Kandola to level the scores with under a minute to go in the match.

Sehrawat then came in to raid but was tackled by veteran Dharmaraj Cheralathan, which gave Haryana Steelers a slender lead with seconds left in the contest.

Vinay then successfully managed to get through Mahender Singh’s tackle attempt to put his team up by two. Rohit’s 10th raid point of the night brought Bengaluru Bulls within one point of Haryana Steelers. But Kandola came through for his team in final raid of the contest with a two-point raid, confirming their victory.


Clinical Jaipur Pink Panthers climbs to top of PKL table



Gujarat Fortunegiants defence against Nitin Rawal from Jaipur Pink Panthers

New Delhi: A clinical Jaipur Pink Panthers saw out Gujarat Fortunegiants in a low-scoring encounter in the final match of the Ahmedabad leg. The season one champions showcased their versatility as they produced a composed defensive performance to win the match by a narrow margin of 22-19.

Both sides opted for a cautious approach in a first half that ended 10-9 in favour of the Pink Panthers. The teams tightened their defences with Gujarat’s Pankaj impressing the most with four successful tackles in his first four attempts. Surprisingly, it was Nilesh Salunke who took on the chief raider’s role for the Pink Panthers as captain Deepak Hooda weighed up his opponents in the earlier minutes.

The impressive all-rounder picked his game up in the second half though, pulling out an impressive tackle on Rohit Gulia and then picking up valuable raid points in the early minutes.

But Gujarat matched the Panthers move for move and a raid by Sachin with little over 11 minutes remaining in the match fetched his side two points, pushed his side into the lead and most importantly sent Deepak Hooda and Nilesh Salunke to the dugout. GB More pulled off a two-point raid for Gujarat with only four minutes remaining in the match to draw the points level at 17-17 but a clever review from Pink Panthers in their following raid helped overturn a decision against them and move to a one-point lead.

The Pink Panthers kept calm in the final minutes, working together as a unit and trusting, what now looks like a well-oiled system, to open up a three-point lead and finally seeing off the match.

“I’ve always said that this is a collective effort. It is a team sport. Our team both the defence and offence played a calculated, mind game because we knew we’d need to play that way against them (Gujarat Fortunegiants). And now we can see the result”, said Jaipur coach Srinivas Reddy.

Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh said he was happy with his players’ effort despite the loss and pointed our his side were unlucky to come away with no points. “What can one say about a hand not crossing the line or some other close decision. Going forward we will try to ensure such small mistakes don’t happen”, he said.

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Deepak Hooda sizzles as Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Puneri Paltan in PKL



Deepak Hooda up against Puneri Paltan in Jaipur Pink Panthers' victory in the PKL.

New Delhi: Pro Kabaddi champions Jaipur Pink Panthers  beat PuneriPaltan 33-25 in a Pro Kabaddi league match. Captain Deepak Niwas Hooda was once again the star for the Pink Panthers, picking nine raid points and marshalling his troops well throughout the match.

With Nitin Tomar securing a bonus point for the Mumba side. But Deepak Hooda, arguably the most improved Kabaddi athlete in the recent years, secured a raid point immediately for the Panthers with his signature hand touch and in the process sent Paltan’s star raider Tomar to the bench.

Paltan struggled from thereon, too many blunders in defence resulting in a high frequency of successful raids for the Pink Panthers.

The season one champions secured their first all-out of the match in the 16th minute and the restart wasn’t too different for the Paltans after a raid by Deepak Hooda sent both their defenders Girish Ernak and Shubham Shinde out. The half ended with a healthy 6-point lead for the Jaipur Pink Panthers (17-11).

Captain for Jaipur Pink Panthers, Deepak Hooda said, “Our entire team performed to the fullest. We executed our game plan exactly the way we wanted it  when the defenders and the raiders both give their 100% into the game, the result is always positive.”

Nitin Tomar’s presence on the mat, three well-executed super tackles and coach Anup Kumar’s calm influence at the dugout were simply not enough for Paltan against a well-organised Panthers side who certainly lived up to the preseason billing as a favourite to win the title.

The result catapulted the Jaipur side to third in the Pro Kabaddi points table while Paltans continued to languish at the bottom.

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Kandola, Sunil’s lead Haryana Steelers’ win over UP Yoddha in PKL



Action during Haryana Steelers' match against UP Yodha on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Haryana Steelers picked up their third successive Season 7 win after overcoming UP Yoddha by a 36-33 scoreline here on Wednesday. Vikash Kandola starred for them in attack with a Super 10, while Sunil dominated in defence and picked up a High 5.

UP Yoddha started strong thanks to a two-point raid by Monu Goyat, which was followed up with a successful Nitesh Kumar tackle. Haryana Steelers got on the scoreboard moments later courtesy of a tackle by Ravi Kumar. Kandola made his presence felt and combined well with Prashanth Kumar Rai as Haryana Steelers began scoring raid points to tie the contest at 5-5.

Haryana Steelers then moved into the lead with Kandola breaking through UP Yoddha’s defence. They enforced the first All-Out of the game on UP Yoddha in the 13th minute to take a 7-11 lead and looked to build on their advantage before halftime. However, successful raids by Shrikant Jadhav and a successful tackle by Nitesh ensured that didn’t happen as Haryana Steelers took just a 16-12 lead into the break. Haryana Steelers began the second period positively after skipper Dharmaraj Cheralathan removed dangerman Jadhav from the mat. UP Yoddha, though, responded with a successful tackle on Kandola to keep him off court and then chipped away at Haryana Steelers’ lead. Surender Singh and Goyat in attack, and Sumit in defence helped U.P. Yoddha inflict an all-out on Haryana Steelers just before the half-hour mark to give UP Yoddha a 21-19 lead.

Despite the all-out, Haryana Steelers continued to play with confidence as both sides began scoring freely at the start of the last quarter. U.P. Yoddha had a one-point lead with a little over four minutes left to play, but the game was still very much on a knife’s edge.

Haryana Steelers tied the score at 27-27 in the next minute to add to the excitement. They then regained the lead in the 38th minute and reduced UP Yoddha to just two men on the court. But UP Yoddha refused to be beaten and tried to resist another all-out with a couple of two-point raids by Jadhav. However, Haryana Steelers eventually inflicted a second all-out on UP Yoddha in the closing stages and held their nerve to register a three-point win.

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