Tejaswini Bai produced a moment of magic as Storm Queens survived a last-minute scare to beat Fire Birds 24-23 in a pulsating encounter and became the first champions of Women’s Kabaddi Challenge. Storm Queens were cruising till the 29th minute but Fire Birds made a dramatic come back to score five points in the last minute to turn the game on its head and made it a nail-biting finish. However, it wasn’t enough as Tejaswini Bai scored two points in the dying seconds to clinch it for Storm Queens.
The Women’s Kabaddi Challenge final began with a bang as a super raid by Sakshi Kumari in the fourth minute to give Storm Queens a 4-1 lead. Fire Birds responded brilliantly with a super tackle in the fifth minute and trailed 3-4. It was 5-5 after seven minutes as both teams battled for supremacy.
Fire Birds forced another super tackle in the ninth minute to lead 7-6 as their skipper Mamtha Poojari struggled to get going in the first half. Storm Queens’ skipper Tejaswini Bai scored just one point in the first half. Fire Birds led 9-6 in the 12th minute with their defence doing a fine job on Storm Queens’ raiders. There was little to chose between both teams in the first 15 minutes and Fire Birds took a slender 10-8 lead at the break.
Storm Queens began the second half with a super tackle as they trailed 10-11 in the 17th minute. They got two more points in the 19th minute to take a one-point lead as Fire Birds’ skipper Mamtha Poojari couldn’t get a single raid point in 19 minutes. Storm Queens asserted their domination and led 15-11 in the 22nd minute as Fire Birds were reduced to just one player. An all-out was duly inflicted in the same minute as Storm Queens led 18-12.
The Fire Birds were looking completely down and out with Mamtha Poojari unable to get any raid points and trailed 12-19 in the 23rd minute. With less than five minutes to go, Storm Queens led 20-13 and were cruising to be the inaugural champions of Women’s Kabaddi Challenge. Mamtha Poojari scored her first raid point in 27th minute as Fire Birds trailed 16-21. Fire Birds turned the game on its head in the last minute with a brilliant super raid as they trailed just by two points. Fire Birds then inflicted an all out to lead 23-22 in a dramatic last few seconds. Tejaswini Bai, however, got two points in the dying seconds of the game as Storm Queens narrowly beat Fire Birds 24-23 to clinch the trophy.