Jaipur, June 11 () The Maharashtra Ironmen secured their second straight win in the ongoing Premier Handball League (PHL) as they edged out the Telugu Talons in a highly-entertaining game that ended 26-30 in favour of Maharashtra.
The match saw two of the most attacking teams in the league Telugu Talons and Maharashtra Ironmen take on each other. Both teams looked for a quick start in the game as they started the tie on the front foot.
Davinder Singh Bhullar, Anil Khudia and Naseeb were combining beautifully in the opening exchanges to give the Talons an early lead in the tie. Maharashtra Iro’men’s Igor Chiseliov, Manjeet Kumar and Jalal Kiani were passing the ball fluidly in attack but seemingly luck was not on their side as they struck the crossbar three times in the first 15 minutes of the game.
At the 15th-minute mark, the Telugu Talons had established a slender lead as the scores read 7-4 in their favour, while Ironmen were struggling to make the most of the chances that came their way.
Vijay Thakur of the Ironmen slowly grew into the game and started supporting the Chiseliov and Kiani brilliantly to help them find a way to break through the Talons’ resolute defence as by the 20th-minute mark the scores read 8 all. In the last 10 minutes of the half, the Talons retook the lead. Soon after the half ended 14-12 in favour of the Telugu Talons as an exciting second half beckoned.
After the game resumed for the second half, Vijay Thakur of the Ironmen was shown a straight red for a robust challenge in the opening minutes. However, the Ironmen looked determined to give the Talons a fight. Ankit Kumar of the Ironmen was seeing more of the ball in the second half and his influence on the game rose so did the performance of the Ironmen.
Both teams were matching each other blow for blow as the game became an end-to-end affair. By the 45th minute mark of the game, the Ironmen had edged ahead of the Talons as the scores read 20-22 in favour of Maharashtra.
The game was headed for a dramatic conclusion as both sets of players were showing great spirit and refusing to back down from the challenges the opposition posed. The Ironmen keeper Naveen Deshwal also rose to the occasion as he made some crucial saves to make sure his team held on to their slender lead.
Jalal Kiani found another gear in attack as he was seemingly scoring with every shot he took. Despite the best efforts of Naseeb and Kailash Patel, the Telugu Talons were finding it hard to cut short the deficit. Soon after the game finished 26-30 in favour of the Maharashtra Ironmen, who had inflicted the first defeat on the Telugu Talons in the Premier Handball League.
Jalal Kiani was the top scorer for the Ironmen in the tie with 9 goals while Naseeb was the top scorer for the Telugu Talons with 10 goals. Jalal Kiani of Maharashtra was adjudged to be the best player of the game for his superb attacking display in the game.