Haryana Steelers and Jaipur Pink Panthers played out a thrilling 32-32 tie in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi 2019 at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
The teams came into the duel in contrasting styles. HS had won its last five fixtures, with JPP failing to post a victory in its previous four games. Deepak Hooda led his side from the front, displaying his raiding prowess in the first half. That helped Jaipur inflict the first all-out in the 16th minute. As a result of the sweep, Pink Panthers opened up a six-point cushion.
Vikas Kandola (7 points), with the support of Prashanth Kumar Rai (5 points), tried to bring Steelers back into the contest. The former’s five-point raid gave Haryana its first all-out, bringing about a shift in the momentum. At the end of the first period, JPP held a four-point advantage at 18-14. HS maintained its dominance at the start of the final half as Vinay started taking up raiding duties.
There was no quality support for Deepak Hooda in the raiding department and it hurt Jaipur to an extent. Meanwhile, Haryana defender Ravi Kumar picked up a ‘High 5’ to put his side in the ascendancy. But Jaipur enforced another all-out in the 36th minute to take the lead in the fag end. Despite giving away some points at the final few moments, Pink Panthers was happy to settle for a tie.
It was evident when Nilesh Salunke crossed the baulk line and killed the clock in the last raid of the match. In the second encounter of the night, Bengal Warriors got the better of U Mumba by a scoreline of 29-26.
Sukesh Hegde (8 points), Maninder Singh (7 points) and all-rounder Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh (5 points) did well for the home team.