Bengaluru, Sep 5 (IANS) Home side Bengaluru Bulls produced a remarkable comeback to beat three-time Pro Kabaddi League champions Patna Pirates 40-39 in a thrilling encounter at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday.
Pawan Sehrawat, with another Super 10 (17 raid points), was once again the star for the defending champions in a match that saw Patna lead for a long time. Pardeep Narwal's Super 10 (14 raid points) for Patna went in vain as defensive blunders at crucial junctures of the match saw the win slip away from their clutches.
All the talk leading up to the match had been about the star raiders on display. Narwal and Sehrawat are perhaps the biggest names in kabaddi at the moment and the duo certainly did not disappoint in a first half that saw multiple audacious raids by the superstars.
Narwal started off the proceedings on the front foot, picking valuable points for a struggling Patna side with clever raids. Sehrawat was equally good in his raids but Patna's defence was better than Bengaluru's in the first half. Narwal's two-point raid in the 13th minute inflicted the first All-Out on the home side and stretch the lead to six points in favour of the three-time champions.
Narwal then produced a stunning four-point raid (taking out Mahender Singh, Mohit Sehrawat, Rohit Kumar and Amit Sheoran) in the 15th minute to build up a healthy lead for Patna. Bengaluru's biggest problem on the mat was their captain Rohit Kumar's poor day as a raider. He didn't get a single point in a first half that saw Patna take a six-point lead to the break (22-16).
Patna began the second half strongly but this time thanks to their defence. The Iranian duo of Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou and Hardi Osthorak produced mighty Super Tackles for the team to push them further ahead. But Rohit Kumar broke his jinx in the second half and was in the points for Bengaluru as they slowly reduced Patna on the mat.
Amit Kumar, the last man on the mat for Patna, produced a Super Raid with under seven minutes remaining in the clock to revive two Patna players. The Bulls did eventually get their All-Out, despite all the efforts by Narwal (who secured his Super 10 in the process) with under four minutes remaining. Sehrawat produced a two-point raid in the dying minutes to complete the comeback, clinching a personal milestone of 500 Pro Kabaddi League points, to tie the match at 38-38 and Bengaluru's defence held firm in the last minute to clinch an important victory.