Haryana Steelers come out on top in a close contest against Bengal Warriors

Bengal Warriors were poor in the defensive unit in the second half

Haryana Steelers defeated the Bengal Warriors 37-21 in the 38th match of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at the Sheraton Grand Convention Centre on Friday. The Steelers climbed up a position into the top half of the standings and are now unbeaten in their last three matches. 

In the first raid of the match, Haryana Steelers tackled the Bengal Warriors’ skipper to get off to a dream start. The Steelers’ defense led by Surender Nada was in incredible form in the early stages of the clash.

In the first 10 minutes of the clash, the clash was evenly poised with a scoreline of 7-7. However, the Bengal Warriors inflicted an all-out and stretched the lead to 13-7. Post the all-out, the defenders especially Jaideep and Nada got the Steelers back into the contest and reduced the deficit to just 4 points.

A super tackle and a successful raid by Maninder Singh meant that the Bengal Warriors weren’t all out till the end of the first half. Meetu Mahender’s 2-point raid at the end of the first half meant that Bengal Warriors had a lone player on the mat and were leading by just 3 points at 18-15. 

Overall both the teams were brilliant in defense as the Bengal Warriors picked up 8 tackle points while the Steelers managed one lesser. Sachin Vittala completed his high 5 in the first half itself and was one of the strongest defenders for the defending champions. Both the teams had a tackle success rate of over 50% which was rare to see in a PKL match. 

The Steelers inflicted the all-out in the first raid of the second half to equalize the scores at 18-18. The franchise from northern India continued to build on the momentum as the defense and the raiders were dominant and took the lead at 18-22 with 15 minutes to play. 

The Warriors’ defense was lackluster in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Vikash Kandola and Meetu had taken advantage of the poor performance and resulted in an advantage for the Steelers. However, Maninder and Nabibaksh’s sporadic moments of brilliance had kept the Steelers in the game.

Meetu Mahender scored 10 points

Meetu Mahender scored 10 points

However, Bengal Warriors weren’t kind to themselves with consecutive unsuccessful tackles and they were all-out in the 33rd minute of the match and held a 5-point lead. Although Maninder Singh completed his super in the same minute he lacked support from his teammates. The skipper wasn’t challenged when he attempted the bonus points as he scored 7 of them in today’s clash. However, Jaideep, Mohit, and Surender were tough to get past for the raiders.

Meetu scored a ‘Super 10’ and was athletic with his moves on the mat. The Steelers held on to their lead and were clinical in the second half of the contest to register their third win of the PKL 8. The statistics reflected their dominant performance with a raid strike rate of 55.81% and a tackle success rate of 57.89%.

Haryana Steelers will battle it out with the Tamil Thalaivas on Monday while the Bengal Warriors will face Puneri Paltan on Sunday as the PKL bandwagon continues into the weekend.