It was a thrilling match between the Haryana Steelers and Dabang Delhi on the fifth and penultimate day of the Lucknow leg of the Pro Kabaddi League 2017. The Haryana side racked up a strong lead in the beginning but towards the end of the first half, Delhi fought their way back into the match. The match went down right to the last minute but an error by the Dabang side towards the very end cost them the match, which ended 27-25.
They displayed some great courage and provided stiff competition, even after two main performers from the side suffered injuries at the very beginning of the game. Both players, Nilesh Shinde and Viraj Vishnu Langde, were brave-hearted and returned soon after getting their heads bandaged.
The Dabangs looked disheartened after the loss at the post-match press conference. Delhi’s coach, Dr. Ramesh Bhendigiri, commented, "Shinde’s presence in the team was very much needed. He already had planned to give his best in today's match. Even a serious injury couldn’t stop him for playing well for his team and he even scored a High 5."
He also praised the effort put in by his side's Iranian contingent. "Both Abolfazl and captain Meraj Sheykh put in strong performances. Our team’s strength lies in the raiding department. We made a good comeback, but the opponent was pretty strong. We gave a tough fight till the very end but Surjeet’s raid, in the end, proved to be the deciding factor,” he stated.
The Haryana Steelers coach, Ranbir Khokhar said, “Our strategy after half time failed miserably. With a good lead in the beginning, our players were very confident. Delhi changed their strategy in the second half and it was miscalculated by us, which is why we lost points."
"Our captain Surender (Nada) didn’t get a chance to play much and that was one of the main reasons for such a close competition. We couldn’t score well because of a few mistakes and miscalculations in the second half.”
He was happy with his side's comeback in the end and revealed, “We changed our strategy in the last three minutes. I'm glad it paid dividends for us and hence, we emerged victorious.
It was yet another thrilling contest that provided some truly exciting moments. The side from the national capital huffed and puffed till the very end but it was the Steelers who showed nerves of steel to take home the five points.Published 23 Aug 2017, 22:13 IST