Ajay Kumar and Manjeet scored Super 10’s for their respective team on Monday.

Raiders Ajay Kumar and Pardeep Kumar helped Gujarat Giants beat Haryana Steelers 32-26 in the first match of Day 2 in vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8’s Rivalry Week. Gujarat dominated right from the first whistle and gave Haryana’s defence no chance to stamp their authority. Ajay Kumar scored a Super 10 (11 points) while Pardeep Kumar fetched 10 points, including 1 for a tackle as Gujarat halted their losing streak against an in-form Steelers side.

Their defenders had a solid game too, with the seasoned corner combination of Ravinder Pahal and Girish Ernak impressing. Haryana’s much-famed defence had a night to forget with Surender Nada struggling in the left corner. The Steelers had just 5 tackle points in the entire match.

Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh opted for a changed line-up with Ravinder Pahal returning as the left corner. There was no room for Rakesh S in the starting 7 with the trio of Pardeep Kumar, Ajay Kumar and Mahendra Rajput preferred. The raiders repaid the coach’s belief by finding easy points off the Haryana defence.

They rushed to an early lead but right when they sensed an ALL OUT, Haryana’s Jaideep produced a stunning Super Tackle. Substitute Meetu ensured a brief fightback by the Steelers but Pardeep Kumar’s multi-point raids gave the Giants an ALL OUT with 2 minutes remaining for half time. That opened a 7-point lead and Gujarat maintained it to end the half with scores 19-12 in the PKL 8.

The early minutes of the second half saw both sides slow down the pace of the match. Giants’ coach Manpreet Singh substituted Mahendra Rajput for Iranian defender Hadi Oshtorak. Gujarat knew they could take their time and target Haryana’s left corner Surender Nada. The experienced defender was having a torrid time with multiple unsuccessful tackles. At the other end, Vikash Kandola and Meetu took turns to fetch raid points. Gujarat had an 8-point lead going into the final 10 minutes of the PKL 8 match.

Haryana kept picking up points as Steelers coach substituted Surender Nada and pushed Rohit Gulia to the corner position. Raider Ajay Kumar picked a Super 10 for Gujarat while Meetu looked good for Haryana, targeting Ravinder Pahal in Gujarat’s right corner.

With 5 minutes remaining, Haryana trailed by 6 points but had reduced Gujarat to 4 men on the mat. But their defenders held firm to ensure there was no late collapse. The win will come as a big relief for the Gujarat side who have struggled in the recent past.

Delhi clinch victory against U Mumba

Dabang Delhi K.C. showed great composure to clinch a 36-30 comeback win against U Mumba in the second match of Day 2 in vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8’s Rivalry Week. The scores were level with 5 minutes remaining, but substitute Neeraj Narwal’s raids helped the Delhi team clinch an ALL OUT in the final minute and eventually win the encounter.

Their all-rounder Vijay scored 12 points (including 1 for a tackle) and was ably supported by defender Manjeet Chhillar with 4 points. U Mumba lacked the lethal edge on the night to lose against arch-rivals Delhi for the second time in Season 8.

The first half of the PKL encounter was a cagey affair with both defences ensuring the raiders had a tough day on the mat. Rahul Sethpal was a notable absentee for the Mumbai team while there was no Naveen Kumar once again for Dabang. The team from Delhi started the match on an aggressive note with their experienced stars Manjeet Chhillar and Sandeep Narwal looking their best. They moved to an early lead and reduced to Mumbai to 2 men on the mat by the 10th minute.

But U Mumba produced two Super Tackles to shift the balance of play. Fazel Atrachali was in the thick of things as Mumbai staged a comeback to level the scores with 3 minutes remaining. Substitute Shivam scored 3 points coming off the bench for U Mumba. The first half ended 12-12 but more importantly, Delhi had just 2 men on the mat.

U Mumba clinched their first ALL OUT in the 2nd minute after the interval to open a 2-point lead. Both teams continued to match each other blow for blow despite the ALL OUT. Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar fetched important raid points for Mumbai while Ashu Malik did the same for Delhi. Mumbai only had a 1-point advantage at the first Time Out in the 10th minute with the match evenly poised. Both teams, fighting for important positions on the points table, knew a mistake could cost them dearly.

The scores were 25-25 with 5 minutes remaining as both teams played a patient game to entice an error. An ankle-hold on Ajith Kumar by Sandeep Narwal made it a 2-point lead for Delhi with 3 minutes on the clock. Dabang’s Neeraj Narwal then produced a 2-point raid with a wonderful dubki which eventually led to an ALL OUT in the last minute and a 5-point lead. Vijay clinched his Super 10 as Delhi secured the win and the bragging rights in the battle of India’s biggest metro cities in PKL 8.

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