The 66th edition of the Senior National Kabaddi Champions kicked off in grand style at the D.G Tatkare Krida in Roha Raigad, Maharashtra as 24 teams squared off in the opening day that saw hosts Maharashtra and the much-fancied Services team registering big wins.
Under Girish Ernak’s first stint as captain, Maharashtra flagged off their campaign with a massive 64-13 win over Vidarbha while Services combined well to rout Manipur by a massive 69-5 margin to win by 64 points.
Services’ dominance was felt in full measure by a hapless Manipur team as the latter failed to score a single point in the first half and only picked up five in the second half, which restored a negligible bit of normality in the game.
In the third game, experience spoke great volumes for Karnataka as Prashant Kumar Rai’s side decimated BSNL by a 56-12 scoreline while Surender Nada’s return to competitive kabaddi wore a grand look with his Haryana team clinching a comfortable 67-24 win over Chattisgarh.
Rahul Chaudhari sprung back to form after an average Pro Kabaddi League outing as he starred in Uttar Pradesh’s 65-16 win over Jharkhand while Rajasthan battled with Punjab and emerged victorious with a 52-35 scoreline at the final whistle.
The Uttarakhand team looked the most solid of the lot as they faced off against Assam and completed demolition of sorts as they registered a massive 70-32 win over their opponents.
While the opening day witnessed a number of lop-sided contests, the tied encounter between Delhi and Chandigarh seemed to give the fans some nail-biting entertainment as the two sides dealt a blow for blow before settling with a 42-42 tie.
In other games, Telangana brushed off a second-half resurgence from Madhya Pradesh to clinch a thrilling 42-41 win while Bihar won 41-21 over West Bengal and in the final game of the day, Andhra Pradesh got the better of Jammu and Kashmir by a 43-31 margin.
Maharashtra 64 – 13 Vidarbha
Services 69 – 5 Manipur
Karnataka 56 – 12 BSNL
Haryana 67 – 24 Chattisgarh
Rajasthan 52 – 35 Punjab
Uttarakhand 70 – 32 Assam
Indian Railway 49 – 19 Orissa
Uttar Pradesh 65 – 16 Jharkhand
Delhi 42 – 42 Chandigarh
Telangana 42 – 41 Madhya Pradesh
Bihar 41 – 21 West Bengal State Unit
Andhra Pradesh 43 – 31 Jammu & Kashmir