Senior National Kabaddi Championships 2017: Haryana defeat Himachal Pradesh in shootout on Day 4, set stage for quarterfinals
Following thrilling round-robin stage matches that saw the sixteen best teams making it to the knockouts stage, the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad turned into a cauldron of noise as the teams entered the arena for the pre-quarterfinals of the 65th Senior National Kabaddi Championships.
While the clash between Haryana and Himachal Pradesh was billed as the clash of the day for the presence of some superstars such as Surender Nada, Anup Kumar going head to head against Ajay Thakur, Vishal Bharadwaj, the encounter between the high-flying Karnataka outfit and Tamil Nadu was amidst high anticipation.
In the first game of the day, Andhra Pradesh took a surprising early 9-4 lead in the first half before Pardeep Narwal took matters into his own hands as the two teams went into the break with Uttarakhand leading 28-21. In the second half, some mature raiding and unfortunate mistakes from the Andhra defence saw Uttarakhand run away with the game and qualify for the Top 8 stage with a 52-31 victory.
Karnataka too started well and continued from where they left off from the group stages, converting a good 18-11 lead in the first half to win 37-27 when the whistle was blown to signal full-time at the end.
In the subsequent games, Maharashtra faced off against Delhi while Uttar Pradesh clashed against Kerala. Maharashtra, unbeaten in the group stages enjoyed a sizeable lead at the culmination of the first half, a 28-12 lead which was better by Uttar Pradesh's 31-15 lead at the end of their first half. The healthy leads transpired into victories as Uttar Pradesh gained a mammoth 61-30 win while Maharashtra romped home with an easy 43-35 win against Delhi.
After two relatively one-sided contests, Rajasthan and Gujarat faced off and dealt a blow for blow before the former went into half-time with a small 28-23 advantage. At the start of the second half, Rajasthan motored along while Gujarat opted to play safe which went against them as they crumbled to a 51-36 loss in the end.
Bihar, which stunned Tamil Nadu in its final round-robin game could not put in the same performance as it fell to a star-studded Services outfit which made optimum use of the huge 31-11 half-time lead to win comfortably by a 55-23 margin and move to the quarterfinals stage.
Against a power-packed Haryana side in what turned out to be one of the most anticipated as well as thrilling clashes of the pre-quarters, Himachal Pradesh managed to eke out a tie at the end of the allotted time that saw the game head into a playoff.
Both teams were given five raids each which would then decide the winner of the game based on total points scored. Haryana started off strong with two raid points and a tackle points from the first four raids cumulative of both teams but the final nail in the coffin was laid by Rajesh Narwal, who picked up a touch point to announce Haryana's entry into the top eight stages with a nerve-wracking 36-34 win.
In the final game of the pre-quarterfinals stage, Madhya Pradesh took on a confident Railways side and took a slender 14-12 lead into the first half but Railways came back stronger in the second half to drive through with a powerful 43-31 victory that sealed a quarterfinals spot for them.
Here are the full results:
Uttarakhand 52-31 Andhra
Karnataka 37-27 Tamil Nadu
Uttar Pradesh 60-31 Kerala
Maharashtra 43-35 Delhi
Rajasthan 51-36 Gujarat
Services 55-23 Bihar
Haryana 36-34 Himachal Pradesh
Railways 43-31 Madhya Pradesh
Railways 37-19 Delhi
Uttar Pradesh 45-12 Odisha
Chhattisgarh 27-23 Karnataka
Punjab 33-19 Bihar
Haryana 31-22 Chandigarh
Kerala 31-21 Andhra Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh 24-21 Tamil Nadu
Maharashtra 41-21 West Bengal
Railways 39-25 Uttar Pradesh
Punjab 31-23 Chhattisgarh
Haryana 44-15 Kerala
Himachal Pradesh 30-26 Maharashtra