HARYANA STEELERS marked their first win of the season after comfortably beating Gujarat FortuneGiants 32-20 at the Mankapur Indoor Stadium in Nagpur. Following a subdued performance, Gujarat, who had drawn against the same opponents, suffered their first defeat of the season.
Surjeet Singh opened Haryana’s account in the first minute of the game by scoring a 2-point raid. Thereafter, both teams pushed each other for do-or-die raids. Surjeet came up with a strong ankle hold on Gujarat skipper Sukesh Hedge to extend their lead to 3-0 in the second minute. Gujarat returned favor on Vikas Khandola to earn their first point of the match in the third minute.
Courtesy of strong tackles from Surender Nada and successful raids from Vikas, the Steelers raced off to 6-1 after first five minutes. They inflicted the first All Out of the game in the 8th minute. Subsequently, Gujarat’s Sachin made a brilliant effort to execute a Super Tackle and a successful raid to help scores level (7-7) at the 14th minute. Interestingly, both skippers had no points to their name after the 15-minute mark.
‘SUMO’ – Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar proved why they are regarded as one of the best corner combination pair by scoring a brilliant Super Tackle on Sukesh Hegde at a crucial juncture. Nada, who had taken part in a raid to consume time, made a cheeky move to get a running hand touch on Gujarat left corner defender Fazel Atrachali when the Iranian had his back facing the raider. Before the teams walked to the dug-out at half-time (9-13), Sukesh Hegde was replaced with all-rounder Rohit Gulia.
While Wazir Singh had a subdued night in terms of attack, Vikas stepped up and picked six points in the game, to guide Haryana to 19-11 lead at the sixth minute in the second half. With 10 minutes left on the clock, a brilliant three-point raid from Mahendra Raput took scores to 16-23. However, Steelers’ corner defenders ‘SOMU’ were quick to quash the glimmer of Gujarat’s hope by scoring a Super Tackle.
Mohit Chhillar scored his first High 5 of the season to help Haryana cruise to a 12-point win and deny Gujarat FortuneGiants a bonus point.
Raider: Khomsan Thonkham
Raider: Deepak Kumar Dahiya
All Rounder: Deepak Kumar
Raider: Prashant Kumar Rai
Mohit Chhillar: The India’s seasoned campaigner looked out-of-from as he took home no points from the first two games. However, he seemed to hit the mark against Gujarat. Mohit produced stunning defensive combination with skipper Surender Nada to score 7 successful tackles. He displayed a strong ankle-hold technique while being involved in most Super Tackles of the match.
Sachin: The 18-year-old was primarily roped in by Gujarat for his raiding abilities, however, the youngster brought all-round skills to the fore against Haryana. Sachin scored three points in defence and five in attack to remain the highest scorer of the match.
Surender Nada: The Haryana skipper scored his third High 5 in three games this season. Nada’s composure coupled with his smart defensive tactics posed a stiff challenge for the Gujarat raiders. While he made no unsuccessful tackle, he unsurprisingly made the most of Gujarat’s attention lapse and picked a raid point by sending Fazel Atrachali to the bench.
Sukesh Hegde: The Gujarat skipper had a disappointing night against Haryana. Sukesh, who is known to be a powerful raider, looked out of touch as he was denied point time and again. Before getting substituted in the first half, Sukesh picked no point as he made two unsuccessful raids out of seven.
Fazel Atrachali: The Iranian left corner defender just didn’t look sharp against the likes of Surjeet Singh and Vikas Khandola. Fazel made three unsuccessful tackles as he failed to get his strategy right. He also took part in six raids, which included five empty and an unsuccessful raid.
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