PHL 2023: Maharashtra Ironmen and Telugu Talons play out a thrilling draw


Jaipur, June 20 (IANS) Maharashtra Ironmen and Telugu Talons played out a thrilling 30-30 draw in Match 25 for the second-ever draw in the inaugural Premier Handball League (PHL) 2023.

Statistically two best teams in the league, the Maharashtra Ironmen and Telugu Talons had already secured their berths in the semifinals of the PHL even before the game.

Because of that Dr. Sunil Kumar, coach of the Ironmen, rested key members in the game as Chiseliov and Kiani started the game on the bench, while Naveen Deshwal was left out of the matchday squad. While the Ironmen rested their star players Fernando Nunes put out a full-strength starting seven for this game.

Despite the Ironmen resting their key squad members, they started the game swiftly as Manjeet Kumar, Sumit Kumar and Sumit Ghanghas led the charge for their team in the first half. The Talons after going behind brought on Iaroslav Alexandr Shabanov who started turning the tide in favour of Telugu.

By the 15th minute of the game, the scores read 7-5 in favour of the Ironmen. The Talons were struggling to get into their familiar attacking groove, while the Ironmen looked sharp even without Chiseliov and Kiani.

Manjeet and Sumit Ghanghas especially were on-song and extended the Ironmen’s lead. Shabanov was playing brilliantly but was not being supported well by his teammates. The first half ended 16-11 in favour of Maharashtra Ironmen.

The Talons came out for the second half with a full-strength starting line-up, which signalled their intentions of making this game a much more competitive one. Thanks to Davinder Singh Bhullar, Naseeb Singh and Raghu Kumara, the Talons were able to get back into the game.

The Ironmen, however, were able to score consistently as Mohit Punia and Vijay Thakur started seeing more of the ball, which ensured Maharashtra Ironmen held on to their healthy lead. While Mohit Kumar was playing well for Telugu, he was floundering to find the back of the net as consistently.

This meant the Ironmen were comfortable with their lead as they were being able to deal with any threat Talons posed. Halfway through the second half the scores read 23-19 in favour of the Maharashtra Ironmen.

Nunes brought on Kailash Patel for the final quarter of the game. He had an instant impact as he scored back-to-back goals to cut short the Ironmen’s lead and inspired his team to mount a late comeback.

Davinder Singh Bhullar and Naseeb Singh found their attacking rhythm soon after as they cut down Maharashtra’s lead to 2 goals going into the last couple of minutes of the game. While the Talons were playing well, Sushil Kumar and Sunil Sharma were making sure the Ironmen held onto their lead.

The game, however, had a dramatic finish as Rahul Nain in the last minute of the game, which was followed by a goal by Kailash Patel with virtually the last throw of the ball, which meant the Talons had equalised and the game ended immediately after. The thrilling game came to an end as the scores read 30 all.

Manjeet Kumar was the top scorer for his team with nine goals in the game, while Davinder Singh Bhullar was the top scorer for the Talons with seven goals. Manjeet Kumar was awarded the most valuable player of the match.



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