Ashish was the star for Haryana Steelers as they beat Tamil Thalaivas 37-29 in Match 102 of Pro Kabaddi Season 8.
The Haryana all-rounder had a night to remember, picking up 16 points (including three tackle points) and helping his Steelers team overcome a tough Thalaivas unit to jump to second on the points table. Ashish was supported well by his captain Vikash Kandola with eight points. Coach Rakesh Kumar didn’t even have to use the likes of Meetu and Rohit Gulia from the bench as his Haryana team once again showed why they are rated amongst the best.
Haryana started the match on the front foot with their cover defender duo of Jaideep and Mohit in form. There was no place for Surender Nada in the Haryana starting line-up as coach Rakesh Kumar brought in Akshay. Together, they kept the Tamil raiders away while at the other end Vikash Kandola and Vinay brought the points.
The Steelers got their first ALL OUT in the 7th minute to open an 8-point lead. But the Thalaivas slowly made a comeback through their raiders Ajinkya Pawar and Manjeet. The former was impressive in Do-or-Die situations which helped Thalaivas end the first half on a positive note. The scores were 15-12 in favour of the Steelers at the interval.
Unfortunately, for the Tamil team, they could not convert that momentum into an ALL OUT as Haryana fought back in the second half. Ajinkya Pawar kept picking up points for Thalaivas, but Ashish’s 3-point Super Raid close to the fifth minute after restart shifted the balance once again to the Steelers. They maintained a 5-point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
Thalaivas’ Surjeet Singh and Ajinkya combined to produce a Super Tackle with six minutes remaining to make it a 2-point game. But Ashish first produced a tackle on Ajinkya and then got a valuable raid point to help Haryana clinch another ALL OUT with 5five minutes remaining. That opened the lead to six points once again.
Just as Thalaivas sensed another comeback, Ashish produced a 3-point Super Raid to widen the lead to six points with under 3 minutes remaining. He picked his Super 10 and then secured another 3-point Super Raid in the final move of the match to secure the win for the Steelers. The careless defending by Thalaivas in the final raid means they walked away with no points from the encounter.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi