Maharashtra and Gujarat notched up upset wins over Himachal Pradesh and Goa, respectively, in the women's and men's kabaddi competitions at the 36th National Games here on Monday.
Maharashtra women stunned national champions Himachal Pradesh 32-31, while the Gujarat men's team shocked Goa 56-27, at the EKA TransStadia Indoor Stadium. Maharashtra, with their controlled play in the first half, opened up a slender two-point lead. They had to defend resolutely in the second half to edge home by a solitary point.
Maharashtra men, on the other hand, had a much easier outing though, beating Tamil Nadu 49-25, while Services trounced Chandigarh 66-32. While their men's team shone bright, Gujarat women could not stop Bihar from running away to a comfortable 38-15 victory, thanks largely to a commanding performance in the second half.
Meanwhile, netball action started in Bhavnagar, with the hosts facing national champions Haryana in the opening contest. The Gujarat men's team, clearly the underdogs, came up with a spirited fight in their Pool A clash before losing 47-60. The first two quarters were neck-and-neck affairs with Haryana taking a 13-11 lead.
Gujarat did not concede any space by ensuring that the lead did not extend beyond two points at halftime. It was in the third quarter that Haryana raced ahead, winning 17 points against six by Gujarat.
Though the hosts and Haryana bagged 17 points each in the final quarter, the home team had little chance of catching up. Himanshu was the highest scorer for the hosts with 28 points, while Vikas contributed 11 points and Manoj Tank scored eight points.