Vikas Kandola was the star for Haryana Steelers as they beat three-time champions Patna Pirates 39-34 in a VIVIO Pro Kabaddi match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.

Haryana didn’t show signs of missing their experienced defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan as they started the match on the front foot. Patna’s Pardeep Narwal was successfully tackled twice in succession and that helped Haryana build a lead in the early minutes.

Vikas Kandola also looked sharp for the Steelers, picking up vital raid points as the Steelers inflicted the first All-Out on the 11th minute to move to a five-point lead. But the Pirates were not in a mood to give up and quickly got back into the game. Their defenders tightened up to strangle Haryana raiders while in attack Pardeep went about doing his business, ably supported by Jang Kun Lee. The first half ended with Haryana on top (17-15).

The early minutes of the second half was dominated by the Pirates but the Steelers clawed back into the game thanks to some astute raiding by Vikas Kandola. The raider made two multi-point raids fourth minute of the second half to open up a lead for the Haryana side who went onto inflict another All-Out in the 9th minute of the half to once again open up a 6-point lead.

Pardeep Narwal produced a massive 4 point Super Raid with 8 minutes left to make the match a close affair but Haryana’s raiding unit immediately fought back and restored their 7-point cushion. The Steelers secured another All-Out with under three minutes left in the match to open up a 9-point lead and despite Pardeep’s valiant efforts, Patna could not find a way back into the match. Pardeep finished the match with 17 raid points and the loss once again showed how the Pirates have lacked quality back up for the league’s top raider.