With the league stage done and dusted, six teams prepare themselves to fight for a chance to be crowned the champions of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6. But before we head into knockout action, we take a look back at some of the most awe-inspiring tackles from the campaign so far.
1. Defiant Mahender Singh tackles down Ajay Thakur:
Thanks to some quality raiding, Tamil Thalaivas managed to reduce Bengaluru Bulls down to just two men in Match 8 and were closing in on an All-Out that would have given them a sizeable lead early in the contest. In went skipper Ajay Thakur to raid and, after successful dodging a Thigh Hold attempt from Ashish Sangwan, the raider rushed towards the midline to get his team one step closer to the All-Out. But Cover defender Mahender Singh leapt into action and tackled Thakur down inches away from the midline while Sangwan rushed to aid his teammate and pulled Thakur’s upper body deeper into his team’s half to complete the tackle.
2. Vijin Thangadurai’s valiant effort:
Down by four points and with just three men on the mat, Bengal Warriors found themselves in a tricky situation against Puneri Paltan and needed to avoid the All-Out which would surrender a sizeable lead. All-rounder Akshay Jadhav came in to raid and plotted his next move as he stood near the bonus line. Defender Vijin Thangadurai decided to seize the opportunity to earn two points for his side and attempted an Ankle Hold on Jadhav. But the raider had enough momentum to drag across the midline and, just as he was closing in, Bengal Warriors’ captain PO Surjeet Singh dived between the raider and the midline while Ran Singh joined in and executed a Back Hold on Jadhav to stop the raider in his tracks.
3. Sandeep Narwal’s incredible solo tackle on Chandran Ranjit:
In the two teams’ first meeting this campaign, Dabang Delhi K.C. raider Chandran Ranjit came in for a Do-Or-Die raid against Puneri Paltan, who had just four men on the mat. The two Puneri Paltan defensive chains stood deep in their half to lure the raider in but a sprint across the mat from Ranjit made the left-sided chain retreat too far and one of the defenders stepped out of bounds, giving Dabang Delhi K.C. a point. With the raider safe after having secured a point, the onus was on the defence to tackle him before he could return to his side of the mat and all-rounder Sandeep Narwal took it upon himself to do so. He charged the raider and got a grip across Ranjit before showcasing his brute strength and immaculate technique. He picked the raider off the ground before tackling him down away from the midline to earn his side a point.
4. Rahul Chaudhari and Abozar Mighani’s genius assist:
When Telugu Titans and Patna Pirates met in a crucial encounter in their quest for a Playoffs spot, reigning MVP Pardeep Narwal came in to raid and trotted across the baulk before attempting to score a bonus point. But Mohsen Maghsoudlou recognized the raider’s intentions and leapt on to Narwal’s lower body to attempt a Thigh Hold. Since the raider was close enough to the midline and going across to assist Maghsoudlou could have resulted in a loss of multiple points, Rahul Chaudhari and Corner Abozar Mohajermighani pulled Maghsoudlou by his legs, who was wrapped around Narwal’s feet, pulling both men deep into their half. With Narwal sufficiently away from the midline, the rest of the defenders joined and piled themselves on the raider to complete the tackle.
5. Sunil sneaks and outsmarts Ajay Thakur:
Tamil Thalaivas were leading by two and there was just under a minute left in the match against Haryana Steelers when Ajay Thakur came in to raid with the aim of spending as much time as he could before returning to his half, passing the mantle on to Haryana Steelers’ raiders to try a two-point raid. After rendering the raid legal by getting his foot across the baulk line, Thakur stood close to the midline and tried to organize his defence. But in Thakur’s momentary lapse in concentration, Haryana Steelers’ Sunil snuck in behind his blindside, picked him off the ground, and tackled him down deep into Haryana Steelers’ half to earn a jaw-dropping tackle point. Sunil’s unbelievable sneak attack cut Tamil Thalaivas’ lead down to just one and raider Vikash Khandola scored a touch point in the match’s final raid which earned his side a tie.