PKL 2021: Patna Pirates defeat Haryana Steelers in a nail-biting encounter
The three-time champions Patna Pirates started their PKL 2021 with a 42-39 win in a thrilling encounter against the Haryana Steelers.
The three-time champions Patna Pirates started their PKL 2021 with a 42-39 win in a thrilling encounter against the Haryana Steelers. Returning to the men in green after a long time, Monu Goyat stood out for Ram Meher Singh's side with 15 raid points.
The Steelers started the match on an aggressive note, taking a 4-1 lead and reducing the Pirates to just three men within the first two and half minutes. However, an unsuccessful raid from the young Meetu Sharma and a two-pointer from Sachin Tanwar meant that the Pirates opened up a 6-4 lead.
The Pirates continued to mount the pressure and reduced Haryana to two men in the 11th minute of the match. Just when the Steelers were staring at an all-out, Surender Nada, who is making a return as a player from the coaching setup made a stunning super tackle. This was followed by a stunning four-point Super Raid from Rohit Gulia as the men in green went from a commanding position to a spot of bother.
Patna were wiped out in the next two raids as Haryana Steelers took an 18-13 lead with six minutes left in the first half. The Vikas Kandola-led side maintained their lead as they went into the break with a 22-18 lead.
A magical two-point raid from Monu Goyat reduced the Steelers to three men right at the start of the second half. But, they managed to defy the Pirates for around four minutes, before yet another two-pointer from Monu Goyat wiped the Steelers out for the first time in the match. This all-out also helped Prashanth Rai's side take a 27-26 lead.
The Pirates continued to tighten their screws as they took a 33-27 lead, thanks to Monu Goyat's yet another two-pointer, with just 10 minutes left in the contest. Down to three men, Srikanth Tewthia came up with a stunning super tackle on Goyat to keep Haryana alive in the contest before Ravi downed Sachin Tanwar in another super tackle to reduce the deficit to 32-34 with just over six minutes left.
Just when it looked like the Steelers were making a comeback, Monu Goyat once again destroyed their dreams - this time with a super raid. Down to two men, Surender Nada once again came up with a super tackle to send Goyat off the mat and bring Haryana Steelers within the touching distance at 36-37.
With the scores tied at 37, Sachin Tanwar came out with a wonderful jump for the Pirates to help his team take a one-point lead with exactly two minutes left in the contest.
The Steelers were once again down to two men when Rohit Gulia came back with a touch-point but a defensive error from Surender Nada further put them back. An error in time calculation from Patna vice-captain Neeraj while sacrificing himself gave the Steelers one more shot at at least levelling the score, but Sachin Tanwar ensured there was no error from his side to clinch the victory for his side.