Khalsa Warriors edge out Punjab Thunder in a close match in Bhopal with a final score of 66-63
– Khalsa beat Punjab Thunder and also get walkover from Lahore
– Man of the Match & Best raider: Talwinder Singh (23 raids, Punjab Thunder)
– Best Stopper: Gurpreet Singh Batth (7 stops, Khalsa Warriors)
– Sonalika Power Raid of the Day: Gurpreet Singh (Punjab Thunder)
Bhopal, November 2: Khalsa Warriors had the rare pleasure of picking four points on a single day, as they not only beat Punjab Thunder 66-63 in a tight but also benefitted from a walkover on Sunday.
While Khalsa won the match, Punjab Thunders’ Raider, Talwinder Singh was adjudged Man of the match with some brilliant Raids.
With one win and one walkover, Khalsa Warriors, already assured of a semi-final berth added four points to move to 31 points from 18 matches. They have three more League matches to go before the semi-finals and final. California Eagles are a distant second at 20 points, with United Singhs at 18 and Punjab Thunder at 17.
The win for Khalsa Warriors meant that barring Royal Kings, all other six teams are still alive in the race for the remaining three semi-final berths.
Earlier in the first match, Royal Kings beat Vancouver Lions 62-54 before Khalsa Warriors got two points as Lahore Lions did not turn up for the match for the second day running.
However, even before the second match began there was a pleasant surprise as Punjab Thunder’s team featured Pakistan stopper, Rana Alishan, who duly arrived for the match. Rana, who has been a big star for his team, however suffered an injury in the third quarter and had to leave the arena. He is however expected to recover in time for the next weekend of matches.
Originally Khalsa Warriors were to meet Lahore Lions in the second match, but the latter did not turn up. The Lahore team claimed to have visa problems, but the Organisers clarified that as many as 22 Lahore Lions members have Visas and 14 of them have eligible Visas for Bhopal. But they still wanted their fixtures to be changed yet. According to the Wave WKL Management, frequent changes have been causing problems to other teams as a result of which they turned down the request and decided to give a walkover to California Eagles on Saturday and to Khalsa Warriors on Sunday.
So, instead of Lahore Lions, leaders Khalsa played against Punjab Thunder, who agreed to the match-up.
Khalsa Warriors, who were sporting their new re-designed red jerseys, turned a one-point deficit at the end of the first half, into a convincing win as they were charged up in the second half.
Punjab Thunder celebrated raider, Sultan Singh inaugurated the initial quarter of the match, converting first raid point by successfully escaping from the clasps of Satnam Singh Sattu of Khalsa Warriors. Both the stoppers and raiders of Punjab Thunder showcased electrifying performance from the very beginning with star raiders Talwinder Singh and Sultan Singh scoring four raids each and star stoppers Sukhmanjit Singh and Yadwinder Singh adding 2 stops each.
Khalsa Warriors too tried its best to give good performance but fell short by one point at the end of the quarter. The star raiders for Khalsa Warriors during this quarter were Gagandeep Singh and Manjot Singh who scored four and three raids respectively and star stopper was Satnam Singh Sattu who managed two stops.
In the second quarter Punjab Thunder kept their nose ahead despite Khalsa Warriors stopper Gurpreet Singh Batth (2) showing good form. Khalsa Warriors raiders Jasmanpreet Raju (5) and Manjot Singh (5) made wonderful raids for the team. On the other hand stoppers of Punjab Thunder Yadwinder Singh (2) and Sukhmanjeet Singh (1) earned excellent stop points for the team. Raider Talwinder Singh (5) and Sultan Singh (7) of the Punjab Thunder exhibited powerful raids and kept the lead at 31-34.
In the third session both the raid and stop line of Warriors pitched in the comeback with amazing performances by raiders, Gagandeep Singh, Jasmanpreet Raju and Manjot Singh who scored six, four and four raids respectively. The star stoppers of Khalsa Warriors for this quarter were Gurpreet Singh Batth and Satnam Singh Sattu who scored two stops each. Punjab Thunder tried hard to hold the game in their favour by good raids made by Talwinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh who scored six and three raids respectively. However the stop line of Punjab Thunder was found wanting as they fell back 46-51.
In the final quarter Khalsa Warriors raiders of Khalsa Warriors Jasmanpreet Raju and Manjot Singh kept up the momentum and carried their team to a 66-63 win despite a fight back by Punjab Thunder.