The first day of the 67th Senior National Kabaddi Championships saw some exciting encounters being played. The top Kabaddi tournament in the country is underway at Poornima University, Jaipur and has a total of 61 teams participating in men's and women's categories.
In group A encounter between the Indian Railways and Maharashtra women's teams, the audience were kept on toe until the last minute of the match. The nail-biting encounter was finally won 33-32 by the defending champions Indian Railways.
Led by the Indian stalwart Payel Chowdhary, the Indian Railways women's team started off well and also took a lead of two points in just five minutes into the match. However, Maharashtra's Sonali Helvi performed an amazing Super Tackle on Sonali Shingate and closed the gap to just one point. Poornima Jedhe's successful raid got Payel Chowdhary out as Maharashtra equaled the scored at 7-7.
Maharashtra then took a slender lead as Megha Kadam tackled Ritu Negi to get one point. Skipper Ankita Jagtap's Super Raid gave Maharashtra more points as they led 11-7. However, the lead was not for long as Sonali Helvi was tackled by the Indian Railways defense. Soon, Raksha Narkar picked up two points in her raid to extend the lead for the Railways.
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Rakha put on a Super Raid and increased the lead. At half-time, Railways were leading the match 19-15, with three players remaining on the court. Maharashtra made a comeback in the second half as Sonali Helve picked up two successful raids. She also went on to inflict an all-out on the Indian Railways team, and scores were again tied at 23-23.
It was a neck to neck affair after that as both the teams started picking up points in succession. Railways picked one-point lead in the final minute of the match, courtesy a successful raid by Payel Chowdhary. The match ended soon after both the teams put on empty raids.
Sonali Helvi was the top scorer of the match as she went on to pick up eight touchpoints, three tackle points, and one bonus. Sonali Shingate and Pooja picked up seven raid points each for Indian Railways, followed by skipper Payel Chowdhary and Rakha Narkar raking up five points each.