Vikash Kandola helps Haryana Steelers halt Bengal Warriors' unbeaten run
Bengal Warriors fell to Haryana Steelers 33-36 at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Monday. Steelers' main man, Vikash Kandola put in a crucial 11-point Raiding performance as his side overcame a gritty opposition in Warriors. Steelers' captain, Dharmaraj Cheralathan's crucial defensive performance added to his side's display, registering 4 Tackle points in the process.
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HIGHLIGHTS Young Haryana raiders Vikash and Vinay overpower Bengal Warriors
The points were roped in by Bengal Warriors early on in the First Half, but Haryana Steelers grasped momentum of the game when Vinay dismissed Viraj Vishnu Langde, veteran Jeeva Kumar and Rinku Narwal in a brilliant Super Raid. 4 minutes later Bengal Warriors responded by a mammoth 4-point Super Raid from K. Prapanjan, again shifting momentum of the game in favor of Warriors. Warriors capitalized on the favorable match situation, inflicting the first All-Out on the night on Steelers, putting the score in their favor at 14-10.
Despite going into a 14-10 lead and executing a crushing Super Raid on Haryana Steelers, Vikash Kandola continued to trouble the Warriors' defense and ultimately his solo, stand-out raiding display brought the much-needed breakthrough as Bengal Warriors got reduced to two men on the mat and conceded the lead to Steelers at 17-18 at the break. Surprisingly, Kandola did not get Tackled even once during the First Half.
Minutes into the Second Half, Vikas Kandola kept at his momentum and form from the First Half, dismissing the remaining Mohammad Nabibaksh after captain Cheralathan brought down K. Prapanjan.
With this, Haryana Steelers darted into a 22-18 lead. Soon after, Kandola completed his 4th Super 10 of the season, ousting Bengal Warriors' Rinku Narwal. Bengal Warriors kept resisting their opponents' display through their lead raider, Maninder Singh who consistently kept getting in the Raid points, notching up his Super 10 on the night. With their 4-point lead well intact, Haryana Steelers entered the final 10 minutes of the game, but the match result remained very much in the balance. With 5 minutes to go, Maninder Singh put in some crucial, assuring Raids which saw Bengal Warriors halve down Steelers' 4-point lead to 2-points at 29-27.
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Mohammad Nabibaksh's dismissal of Chand Singh in a Do-or-Die cut down the score deficit to just one point. Haryana Steelers' captain Dharmaraj Cheralathan recorded an empty raid before bringing down Bengal Warriors' talisman, Maninder Singh in an excellent Super Tackle, crucially turning the momentum in the favor of Steelers. Bengal Warriors kept on fighting, but Haryana Steelers held on to their late lead, ultimately recording a 3-point victory over their opposition.
Match Preview: Bengal Warriors Vs. Haryana Steelers: A spot in Top Six at stake
Unbeaten in the last 5 matches, Bengal Warriors will be targeting the 6th win when they take on Haryana Steelers at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Monday. Their opponents, Haryana Steelers enter this fixture on the back of a positive record of never having lost to Bengal Warriors. What makes this fixture even more interesting is that the Kolkata outfit is also aiming their 6th win of the campaign against Rakesh Kumar's troops.
Led by their leading Raider, the talismanic Maninder Singh, Bengal Warriors carry a potent threat to the Haryana Steelers' defense as the likes of K. Prapanjan and All-Rounder Mohammad Ismael Nabibaksh add more depth in their offense and add more danger to their opponents' defensive formations. Warriors' defense is a well-balanced unit that has complemented their Raiding exploits in this season so far. Rinku Narwal notched up a High 5 in their previous encounter. Also with Right Corner, Baldev Singh averaging 3 Successful Tackles per Match so far in this season and the experience of PKL veteran, Jeeva Kumar the Warriors have a formidable defensive line to contain Steelers' Raiders.
On the other hand, Haryana Steelers certainly hold a potent Raiding threat to their oppositions when an in-form Vikash Kandola settles into momentum. Their recent game-deciding performances have come ashore whenever Kandola has hit top gear. The experienced Prashanth Kumar Rai and Naveen add more power and depth to Steelers' Raiding department. Led by the veteran Left Coner and captain, Dharmaraj Cheralathan's massive experience will be crucial for Haryana Steelers as they would look to counter Bengal Warriors' offensive threat. Their leading Defender so far in this season, Sunil (22 Tackle Points) along with Vikas Kale, Ravi Kumar and Chand Singh further bolster the Steelers' defense.
With such firepower in both the teams' ranks and the all-important chance of fortifying a place in the Top-Six, this fixture will certainly turn out to be a cracker of a match.
Head to head: Bengal Warriors vs Haryana Steelers