Wave World Kabaddi League's (WKL) Punjab leg got off to a thrilling start with both Khalsa Warriors and California Eagles registering hard-fought victories here Saturday.In the day's first encounter, Khalsa Warriors held their nerves in the closing stages to edge Punjab Thunder 59-57, maintaining their unbeaten streak. Despite their great fightback, Punjab Thunder had to face defeat, but will hold their heads high with a great show at the Hockey Ground in Punjab Agricultural University. Khalsa Warriors' fifth straight win came via a point on their dramatic 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 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 the decision sportingly and the two teams 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 equalled the previous best set by his own teammate Talwinder Singh, who achieved it against Royal Kings USA last week in Delhi. The best stopper was Khalsa Warriors' Gurpreet Singh Gopi with seven stops.
Meanwhile, in the second match California Eagles scored their first win by beating Vancouver Lions 58-52.Both California Eagles and Vancouver Lions have two points each from five matches. Khalsa Warriors now have 10 points, while Yo Yo Tigers and Lahore Lions, both of whom will be seen in action 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 have four points.