Panchkula, Haryana Steelers opened their Pro Kabaddi League home leg on a disappointing note as they went down 30-37 against UP Yoddhas at the Tau Devi Lal stadium here on Saturday.
Shrikant Jadhav scored a Super 10 and Nitesh clinched a High 5 in a well-balanced performance by the UP team who now have seven wins from their last eight matches.
Surprisingly, it was the secondary raiders of both teams who got their teams going with Surender Gill producing a three-point Super Raid in the fourth minute to give the visiting team a lead. But Vinay produced a three-point raid for Haryana in the subsequent raid to restore the parity. Dharmaraj Cheralathan’s return from injury didn’t seem to have changed the Steelers’ defensive abilities on the mat as they were outscored by the UP defence in the first half (UP – 5, Haryana – 2).
The first half ended with UP leading 15-11 but importantly for the home team, there were only three men remaining on the mat for Yoddha.
The second half continued to be the same, with Haryana scuffing chance after chance to inflict an All-Out as UP’s lead grew to 8 points. Both defences continued to fail as raiders picked up easy points. Haryana eventually secured their All-Out in the 7th minute of the second half but still remained four points away from UP. The All-Out in fact, hardly disturbed the balance of the match, as UP continued to dominate the proceedings despite the setback.
Nitesh Kumar picked up a High 5 as the UP defence held firm and the team inflicted an All-Out on Steelers with under two minutes remaining to open up an 8-point gap. The lead proved too much for Haryana, who lost the match by a margin of seven points that helped them secure a point.