Haryana Steelers edged past hosts UP Yoddha 36-29 in an Inter-Zone challenge of the Pro Kabaddi League (IPL) Season 5 at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium. The match turned out to be such a tight encounter that both the respective coaches had to be warned by the referees even as Haryana kept their calm to pip the hosts by a whisker.
Cricketer Suresh Raina was also seen cheering for his home team, which had only their poor defence to blame for their second consecutive loss in two days.
It started on an even note for both the sides with the halfway mark reading 15-12 reading in favour of the hosts but the Steelers upped the ante in the second half to win the tie.
Haryana skipper and star defender Surender Nada and raider Vikas Kandola stole the show for the visitors on the night. Nada scored seven points whereas Kandola contributed nine points for the Steelers.
Home captain Nitin Tomar had a quiet night and could only manage to score five points.
Both teams began with vigour as they exchanged raid and tackle points in the opening minutes. Nitin was the most active raider for UP as the score read 4-4 after the first five minutes.
Ashish Chhokar made a successful raid in the 8th minute to give Steelers a 6-5 lead before Rishank Devadiga scored with a successful raid in the 11th minute to turn it in favour of the hosts 7-8.
Wazir Singh's raid point in the 12th minute helped UP to a 10-9 lead before they stretched it further to 13-9 after 16 minutes.
Haryana scored three points in the next three minutes to reduce the deficit to one point as they trailed 12-13 before UP made it led 15-12 at the end of the first half.
UP began the second half strongly and led 19-15 after 24 minutes. Haryana looked down and out as UP extended it further to 23-17 after 27 minutes.
The home side looked in command till that point before the visitors made a strong comeback, inflicting an all out and thereby reducing the deficit to two points.
Vikas made a successful raid in the 35th minute as Steelers trailed 27-28 before levelling scores in the next minute at 29-29.
With less than a minute to go, Steelers forced another all out to open up an assailable seven-point lead and turn it in their favour.
(With IANS Inputs).