Maharashtra’s women and Gujarat’s men scored upset victories on the opening day of Kabaddi competition in the 36th National Games at the EKA TransStadia Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
The Maharashtra women stunned National Champions Himachal Pradesh 32-31 with their controlled play in the first half, opening up a slender two-point lead. They had to defend resolutely in the second half to edge home by a solitary point.
Maharashtra men had a much easier outing though, beating Tamil Nadu 49-25. Services trounced Chandigarh 66-32 in a late-night match.
Earlier, Amdavadis who turned up in sizable numbers to cheer the Gujarat sides in their first taste of the National Games, watched their men’s team spring a surprise on Goa 56-27.
Their women counterparts, though, could not stop Bihar from running away to a comfortable 38-15 victory, thanks largely to a command performance in the second half.
Meanwhile, Netball action also started in Bhavnagar, with the hosts facing National Champions Haryana in the opening encounter. The Gujarat men’s team, clearly the underdogs, came up with a spirited fight in their Pool A clash but ended on the losing side 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 half-time.
It was in the third quarter that Haryana raced ahead, winning 17 points against 6 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 8 points.
Gujarat captain Vikas Prajapati said his team played quite well but their failure to defend in the third quarter hurt them. “We will surely correct these mistakes in subsequent matches,” he said.
Group A: Maharashtra beat Tamil Nadu 49-25;
Group B: Gujarat beat Goa 56-27
Group A: Bihar beat Gujarat 38-15; Maharashtra beat Himachal Pradesh 32-31.