The fourth chapter of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 came to an end on Thursday. The kabaddi caravan now shifts from the City of Nawabs, Lucknow to the City of Dreams, Mumbai. Lucknow hosted in pure ‘Nawabi’ style, with fans filling every available space at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium and players showcasing more grit and determination on the mat. As we move onto a new chapter, it’s time to relive some highlights from the leg gone by. Here's a compilation of the Top 5.
Narwal’s mind-boggling record
Patna Pirates captain Pardeep Narwal is a raider par excellence. Every match he has played in his VIVO Pro Kabaddi career has proven that. But yet again, he managed to surprise all by picking up a mammoth 19 points in a single match, against Puneri Paltan. In the process, he broke his own record of 15 points to rewrite his name in the history of the league. Though his fabulous show couldn’t bring his team a victory, it surely added to his already great reputation.
Atrachali’s defensive masterclass
Gujarat Fortunegiants’ dominance has continued from Ahmedabad to Lucknow and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. A defensive masterclass from Fazel Atrachali is one of the biggest reasons for their unwavering form. He led his team’s defence against a solid Puneri Paltan side and picked up a massive tally of nine points to create a new season record for a defender. The Iranian can now be expected to play with more vigour.
Yoddha’s home disappointment
U.P. Yoddha’s home leg has, unfortunately, not been a successful one. So far, they have been the only team to not have started their home leg with a win, the only respite being a last-gasp victory against Telugu Titans on Thursday in what was their last home match. Though they sit atop the Zone B table with 30 points from 11 matches, the five-match winless streak, including four successive losses, will surely rankle them for some time.
Devadiga’s splendid show
With captain Nitin Tomar losing his edge a little, fellow star raider Rishank Devadiga stepped into the breach, and how! Leading the attack from the front in every game, he even managed to pick up a tally of 16 overall points in the match against Tamil Thalaivas. It was a phenomenal performance and helped the Yoddha break their four-match losing streak as the game ended in a tie.
VIVO Pro Kabaddi had been picking pace in the first three legs, but in the fourth it went full throttle. Every team is hell-bent on getting something from the match. Nearly every match has gone down to the wire, with the last minutes or seconds deciding the winner. The league has now become a battle of nerves. The team which can handle the pressure better shall emerge victorious.