As the ‘City of Joy’ welcomed the VIVO Pro Kabaddi caravan with open arms and the sweetness of ‘mishti’, we also saw midway through the Kolkata leg the start of the second Inter Zone Challenge Week of Season 5. Fans thronged the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium, ensuring the roaring from the stands never stopped. As we moved onto a fresh chapter at Sonepat on Friday, it’s time to relive the striking moments and events that came from the Kolkata leg.
Pardeep Narwal, the record breaking machine
Patna Pirates captain Pardeep Narwal is a raider par excellence. Every opponent coach is yet to come up with a strategy which can contain the brilliance of the 20-year-old superstar. His performance against Jaipur Pink Panthers in Kolkata was right from the top drawer. He broke his own record of maximum points in a single match this season by scoring a stupendous 21 points to gift his team a mammoth 26-point win, this season’s biggest so far. During the same match, Narwal also became the first player in VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 to reach the 100 raid-point mark and he took just nine matches. He also made the headlines when he asserted that he and only he will create new records and break them. You have to give it to him for putting his money where his mouth is, time and again!
Jang Kun Lee, the Korean superstar
Bengal Warriors’ retained player for this season, Jang Kun Lee has been a solid presence for the Kolkata team yet again. A strategic mind and nimble feet have earned the Korean plenty of respect from his opponents. His finesse on the mat against Tamil Thalaivas saw him becoming the first foreign player in the league to reach 300 points overall. With still so many matches to be played and Kolkata looking in fine form, it will not be surprising if Lee crosses another milestone soon.
Maninder Singh, the King of Kolkata
Bengal Warriors had a fairly satisfactory home leg, having been unbeaten in four of their six encounters with three wins and a tie. One of the main reasons for the Warriors’ fine form this season has been the performance of star raider Maninder Singh. And one could say that Maninder well and truly unleashed his inner beast in Kolkata. In the six matches played at home, Maninder picked up four Super 10s and ended the Kolkata leg with a mammoth tally of 66 points (an average of 11 points per match).
Teams from the south struggling big time
VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 has three teams from southern India representing their respective cities in Tamil Thalaivas, Bengaluru Bulls and Telugu Titans. However, none of the teams has been able to make an impact this season. In Kolkata, these three teams once again succumbed to defeats in the dying minutes. Telugu Titans, Bengaluru Bulls and Tamil Thalaivas hold the last three positions in the Zone B table and now need nothing short of a miracle to make the play-offs.