Kabaddi has witnessed a tremendous evolution from the time VIVO Pro Kabaddi first got underway. Players now are trying newer and more ingenious ways to outsmart their opponents and gain the upper hand. Keeping with this theme, Season 5 saw some of the most spectacular raids ever seen on the mat of kabaddi and here we take a look at a few of them.
1. Pardeep’s record-breaker against Haryana Steelers
A raid which will remain etched in the minds of those who were fortunate enough to witness it for years to come.
Pardeep Narwal’s amazing agility and reflexes saw him touch all six opposition players and make his way back to the centre line giving his team a total of 8 points (6 touch points and two points for the All Out). His effort completely wrecked the morale of debutants Haryana Steelers and saw Patna advance in the second Eliminator by a huge margin of 39 points.
2. Wazir’s dhamaaka against Delhi
Haryana Steelers had a good campaign in their opening season where they challenged a number of well-established teams. A lot of credit for this success goes to their senior raider Wazir Singh, who led the attack and also took charge of mentoring the young Vikas Kandola.
He was particularly effective in the team’s home match against Dabang Delhi K.C. where he claimed the advantage for the Steelers in a closely fought first half. Coming in to raid in the 9th minute, Wazir claimed 5 points, bringing Delhi on the brink of an All Out. He used his reach to good effect and caught the defence off-guard to pull off a brilliant escape.
3. Ajay Thakur’s last-second winner against Gujarat
Known for his never-say-die attitude, Ajay Thakur showed his grit when he pulled off back to back last-minute victories for Tamil Thalaivas. Facing the dominant Gujarat Fortunegiants in Delhi, Tamil Thalaivas had to turn their campaign around to keep their hopes in the competition alive. That ray of hope came through their captain Ajay Thakur.
In a game where Gujarat had the upper hand right till the end, Thakur went in to raid with 5 seconds on the clock and the team needing at least one point to draw the game. But Thakur did one better and returned with 2 points after patiently waiting for Gujarat’s defence to make an error.
4. Rishank’s opener in his Jaipur raid-fest
Rishank Devadiga was an able second-in-command to Nitin Tomar throughout U.P. Yoddha’s Season 5 campaign. But when he got the opportunity to lead the team against Jaipur Pink Panthers he seemed like a different raider altogether.
He went on a rampage and returned 28 points from the game. However, one of his most lethal raids came when he went in to raid as the team’s opening raider. He took no time to settle in and caught Jaipur napping, getting 4 points from the raid and setting the tone for the rest of the match.
5. Maninder Singh’s clincher against Chennai
Maninder Singh scored half of Bengal Warriors’ points in the team’s narrow 32-31 victory over Tamil Thalaivas in Match 123. But what he is most remembered for in that match is his brave last raid that saw him take on the challenge of a do-or-die and emerge victorious.
Going for the buzzer raid with Bengal just ahead by one point, Maninder managed to get an all-important bonus point in the raid before the waiting Chennai defenders snapped him up. Even though he didn’t make it back to his half, his courageous effort saw the Warriors hang on to their lead and win the match by a solitary point.