The Chennai leg of vivo Pro Kabaddi marked the third occasion this season where the home side failed to register a single win over the course of the week. Despite that tough run of results for home team Tamil Thalaivas, the Chennai leg did see its share of impressive individual and team performances and a host of new landmarks being set by the league’s most recognizable names. Here are the five most noteworthy moments from the week gone by -
1. ‘Baahubali’ back with a bang
After a rather slow start to his season that saw him score just 50 raid points in eight matches, ‘Baahubali’ Siddharth Desai delivered one of the performances of the campaign, scoring 18 raid points against Haryana Steelers. Desai needed just 17 raid attempts to score his 18 raid points and was tackled just once, in his 18th and final attempt of the night. His 18-point performance was the joint second-best by a raider this season, alongside his brother Suraj Desai who did it on his vivo Pro Kabaddi debut.
2. ‘Record-Breaker’ reaches another milestone
While the Chennai leg proved to be a challenging one for Patna Pirates, ‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal continued to add accolades to his already illustrious vivo Pro Kabaddi career, as he became the first man in league history to score 950 overall points, reaching the mark against U Mumba in Match 55. While he has been the league’s trendsetter in raid point milestones since Season 6, this marks the first time that Pardeep has beaten ‘Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari to an overall scoring milestone, as the race to 1000 continues between the two stalwarts.
3. Maninder becomes second-quickest to 600 points
Bengal Warriors scored eight of a possible 10 points during the Chennai leg and continued their bid for a top-two finish and a spot in the Semi-finals of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7. One of the primary reasons for their success has been the form of skipper Maninder Singh, who’s the team’s top scorer with 68 points. With his 65th point of the season, however, Maninder became the eighth player to score 600 points in vivo Pro Kabaddi, joining Rishank Devadiga in reaching that landmark in Season 7. While seven other players have reached the 600-point milestone, only ‘Record-Breaker’ Pardeep Narwal(63) did it in fewer games than Maninder (68).
4. ‘Hi-Flyer’ completes a ton
While it has taken longer than in the previous two campaigns, ‘Hi-Flyer’ Pawan Kumar Sehrawat became the first player in vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7 to surpass 100 raid points, doing so in Bengaluru Bulls’ 31-23 loss against Puneri Paltan. Sehrawat has 17 more raid points than next-best Pardeep Narwal, despite having played a game fewer, and is one of only two raiders in the league averaging over 10 raid points per game, alongside Dabang Delhi K.C.’s Naveen Kumar. Sehrawat’s 29-point performance against Bengal Warriors earlier in the season was the third-highest individual score in vivo Pro Kabaddi history.
5. Ajith Kumar saves the day for Tamil Thalaivas
With the team trailing by four points and down to a solitary man on the mat against Puneri Paltan, Tamil Thalaivas were in desperate needs of a miracle and raider V. Ajith Kumar provided just that. After he was allowed to take the bonus unopposed, Manjeet pounced on Ajith’s ankle and teammates Hadi Tajik and Nitin Tomar came in to support the tackle. But Ajith, through sheer will and strength, managed to get his hand across the midline, earn four points, and level the scores for his team. More importantly, his raid helped Tamil Thalaivas avoid an All-Out that would have most likely ensured they didn’t come away with any points from the match. The game eventually finished a tie and Ajith’s raid played a big part in that outcome.