Pro Kabaddi 2019, Bengal Warriors vs Haryana Steelers: Warriors succumb to Haryana despite Maninder's stunning display
Bengal Warriors were coming with a massive morale boost, having defeated the three-time champions Patna Pirates in their previous battle at the Pro Kabaddi League Season 7. Just two places away from the top of the points' table, the Warriors had the perfect opportunity to improve their ranking.
Not quite far from the Bengal-based franchise, Haryana Steelers had also successfully demolished former champions U Mumba to clinch the victory in brilliant fashion.
Read ahead to find out how the anticipated battle between the Bengal Warriors and Haryana Steelers progressed at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi:
Young prodigy Vikash Kandola started for the Steelers and returned sans any point. Maninder Singh, the Punjabi tiger of Bengal, stepped in the opponent's court only to send Prashanth Kumar Rai off the mat, hence bringing the first point for the Warriors.
In a do-or-die raid, Vikash opened the account for his squad with a marvelous two-pointer. A beautiful super-raid by Vinay reduced the strength of Bengal to just four players.
A stupefying lion jump by Kandola ensured a point for the Steelers. Rookie mistakes by the defenders of Bengal added to their misery. Yet another mind-blowing super-raid of the night by Prapanjan gave a fitting reply to Vikash's three-pointer.
Despite Prashanth's stronger-than-steel efforts to save the drowning ship of the Steelers, Haryana conceded their first all-out of the night in the 12th minute of the battle. Maninder also achieved the milestone of 600 raid points in the league.
As the battle made its way towards the end of the first twenty minutes, both teams continued to give their all. A dazzling two-pointer by Vikash handed back Haryana the lead at 18-17, seconds before the conclusion of the first half.
As the second half of the raid-dominated battle kicked off, Bengal Warriors suffered their first unfortunate all-out of the night. On a night full of milestones, Vikash reached the 300 raid-point mark in his PKL career.
Both Maninder and Vikash, displaying a stunning game, completed their Super 10s respectively. Most of the second half saw a close-called game. With just six minutes left on the clock, the neck-to-neck score of 29-27 was tilted in Haryana's direction.
A Dhamaraj-led super-tackle put the flight of Maninder to an abrupt halt. Haryana claimed a crucial review in the 38th minute of the encounter, which was declared successful. The review also helped them receive two points.
The battle ended in Haryana's favour, with the score 36-33. An impeccable combination of offense and defense helped the Haryana-based franchise clinch yet another victory.