66th Senior National Kabaddi Championship: Maharashtra to face Railways, Haryana square off against Services in the semifinals
Maharashtra and Services claimed easy wins while Railways and Haryana had to fight tooth and nail to stake a claim at a spot in the semifinals as the 66th edition of the Senior Nationals continued to play host to some top-flight kabaddi at the D.G Tatkare Krida Maidan at Roha Raigad, Maharashtra.
Hosts Maharashtra kick-started the pre-quarters with a commanding 54-38 win over Kerala while the second match between Bihar and Rajasthan went all the way down to the wire as Bihar held on to a slender one-point lead and won the match 45-44.
Delhi's qualification into the quarterfinals went up in smoke as they faced off against a strong Railways unit which decimated them 56-31 while Karnataka stuck to the basics and put up their best show yet with a dominating 64-22 victory over Pondicherry.
The Services team finally came across some strong competition as Himachal Pradesh gave them a run for their money but that did not suffice as the Monu-Goyat led side walked into the quarters with a 36-32 win. Uttarakhand faced off against a hapless Telangana side and thrashed them 53-27.
In the final two games of the pre-quarterfinals stage, Uttar Pradesh booked their place in the quarterfinals with a big 48-22 win over Gujarat while Haryana claimed the last spot with a comfortable 35-20 win over Punjab.
Pre-quarterfinals brief scores:
Maharashtra 54 - 38 Kerala
Bihar 45 - 44 Rajasthan
Indian Railways 56 - 31
Karnataka 64 - 22 Pondicherry
Services 36-32 Himachal Pradesh
Uttarakhand 53 - 27 Telangana
Uttar Pradesh 48 - 22 Gujarat
Haryana 35 - 20 Punjab
Bihar thrashed, Services win big in quarter-finals
Maharashtra continued their fine show in this campaign as they yet again put up more than just a strong fight which sent Bihar tumbling out of the competition by a 39-16 margin.
Similar was the fate of Karnataka, as Prashant Rai's men failed to repeat their commanding run into the quarters against the Indian Railways, as the star-studded Railways side stomped into the finals by a 53-42 margin.
In the third quarterfinal, Services clashed swords with Uttarakhand in an exciting fixture. Yet, the game seemed to move like one-way traffic as Monu Goyat's side led all through to game and registered a 42-30 win.
The last quarterfinal had thrilling action all the way as two strong teams in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana faced off.
Haryana raced away to a 33-14 lead into the second half which all but seemed to shut the door on UP until a sudden resurgence saw Chaudhari's side strike a miraculous comeback to notch up 34 points in the second half but agonizingly fell short by one point as Haryana claimed a cliffhanger of a win by a 49-48 win.
Maharashtra 39 - 16 Bihar
Railways 53 - 42 Karnataka
Services 42 - 30 Uttarakhand
Haryana 49 - 48 Uttar Pradesh.