California Eagles register first win of Wave World Kabaddi League




Ludhiana, September 6: It was a thrilling start for the Wave World Kabaddi League in Punjab as California Eagles scored their first win of beating Vancouver Lions 58-52 and collected their first points.

California Eagles register first win of Wave World Kabaddi League

California Eagles register first win of Wave World Kabaddi League

For the second time in the day, it was a close match, but this time California Eagles did not let up and went through to win.

Earlier in the day, Punjab Thunder took Khalsa Warriors to the wire before Khalsa Warriors won 59-57.

In the second match of the evening, played under very humid conditions, California Eagles did well to beat Vancouver Lions 58-52 and log their first win of the Wave World Kabaddi League on Saturday.

Both California Eagles and Vancouver Lions have two points each from five matches.

California Eagles, winless since the start of the League, opened with a sense of purpose. With Sukhpal contributing five successful raids and Balkar Singh making to two successful stops, California Eagles were 16-13 up in first quarter. The same duo Sukhpal (nine raids in two quarters) and Balkar (four stops in two quarters) saw California Eagles lead 31-25 at half time.

California Eagles, who led by three after first quarter and then by six after second, made it eight points by the end of the third quarter. Even as Balkar Singh was the star stopper for California Eagles, Gagandeep Sabrawa was the most successful raider with 14 raids till then for Vancouver Lions.

Once again as in the first match, the gap seemed to narrow down as the end neared, and was down to four points with less than a minute to go, but California Eagles made no mistake and romped home victors by 58-52. Gagandeep finished with 21 successful raids to emerge as the Sonalika Man of the Match also though his team lost the match.

Earlier setting the ball rolling for the League in Punjab, Khalsa Warriors held their nerves in the closing stages to stop a brilliant effort from Punjab Thunder. As the Wave World Kabaddi League made its long-awaited arrival into Punjab, widely considered as the Home of Kabaddi, Khalsa Warriors won their fifth straight win 59-57 and maintained their unbeaten streak.

The second match of the day between California Eagles and Vancouver Lions, too, was closely fought with the former finally walking away victors at 58-52. It was California Eagles’ first win in five matches. They have two points, the same as Vancouver Lions, who won their first match last week in Delhi against United Singhs.

The day’s Special Guests included Mr. Sikander Singh Maluka, Cabinet Minister of Rural Development, Government of Punjab.

Despite their great fight back Punjab Thunder had to face a defeat, but their held their heads high with a great show at the Hockey Ground in Punjab Agricultural University in the heart of Ludhiana on Saturday.

Khalsa Warriors’ fifth straight came via a point on their final raid from Jasmanpreet Singh. It was by far the closest match of the Wave WKL.

It took the third umpire and several TV replays to separate the teams, as the final raid by Jasmanpreet Singh of Khalsa Warriors was declared as a successful one by the umpire after a close look.

At one stage, even the screens flashed 58-58 for the first tie of the league. However, Punjab Thunder’s joy was short-lived but they took it sportingly and the two teams hugged each other and walked away from the court to the thunderous applause from the 8,000-odd spectators.

Punjab Thunder had the consolation as their star raider, Sultan Singh, was adjudged the man of the match for his superb performance that included 26 successful raids many of them in crucial stages.

The Best Raider was also Sultan Singh, whose tally of 26 points equaled the previous best of 26 by his own teammate Talwinder Singh, who achieved it against Royal Lings USA last week in Delhi.

The Best stopper was Khalsa Warriors was Gurpreet Singh Manki with seven stops.

Khalsa Warriors seemed to be running away with the match as they held handy leads at the end of each of the first three quarters. But into the final quarter, Punjab Thunder turned in a brilliant comeback to narrow the gap to as little as one.

When the final quarter began Khalsa Warriors were 48-39 ahead and seemingly coasting to another convincing win, but Punjab Thunder led by raiders Sultan Singh and Talwinder Singh produced a brilliant performance. However Khalsa Warriors held their nerve in the crucial stages. In the last four minutes the gap between the two teams was never more than three points and quite often as little as one.

But Khalsa Warriors never let that narrow lead vanish. When the final raid came from Jasmanpreet with barely a few seconds left, the drama became even more thrilling as he seemed to have successfully thwarted. But he pulled clear and was awarded the point on technicality and his team had achieved their fifth win, despite Punjab Thunder producing a heart-stopping finish.

With the weather cooling off following the rains, which stopped for the first time after four days, Khalsa Warriors took full advantage and ran up a handy lead from the start and kept building on it. Then came the dramatic finish in the final stages of the match, which had the crowds on the edge of their seats.

With their fifth win in a row, Khalsa Warriors now have 10 points, while Yo Yo Tigers and Lahore Lions, both of whom will be seen in action on Sunday, have six points each from three wins in four matches.

For Punjab Thunder this was their third loss in five matches. Their earlier losses came at the hands of Lahore Lions and United Singhs. Punjab Thunder now have four points.

Raiders Gagandeep Jogewal, Talwinder Singh and Yugraj gave Khalsa Warriors the upper hand from the first quarter itself and stopper Gurpreet Singh ably supported them. For Punjab Thunder, raider Sultan Singh and stopper Lakhwinder Singh were the stars.

 

Match No. 17: Khalsa Warriors v Punjab Thunder

Man of the match:             Sultan Singh (Punjab Thunder)

Best Raider:                          Sultan Singh (Punjab Thunder) (26 points)

Best Stopper                        Gurpeet Singh Gopi (Khalsa Warriors) (7 stops)

 

Scores at the end of each quarter

Quarter 1:    Khalsa Warriors lead 21-10

Quarter 2:    Khalsa Warriors lead 33-25

Quarter 3:    Khalsa Warriors lead 48-39

Quarter 4:    Khalsa Warriors wins 59-57

 

League position after Match 18 of the Wave World Kabaddi League:

 

Team Played Win Lost Points
Khalsa Warriors 5 5 0 10
Lahore Lions 4 3 1 6
Yo Yo Tigers 4 3 1 6
United Singhs 4 2 2 4
Punjab Thunder 5 2 3 4
Royals Kings USA 4 1 3 2
Vancouver Lions 5 1 4 2
California Eagles 5 1 4 2

 

Matches for Sunday at Hockey Stadium, PAU, Ludhiana:

United Singhs v Royal Kings USA (6 pm)

Yo Yo Tigers v Lahore Lions (8 pm);

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