With only 2 minutes to go, the Patna Pirates had everything on the line. A loss tonight would mean the end for their mercurial journey through kabaddi-crazed India. It would all come down to Ravi Dalal and Sandeep Narwal, players who had the team placed on their shoulders after a ligament injury had removed their captain from the mat. With a full 7 players on the mat vs Bengaluru's Sandeep Narwal started the campaign, executing a perfect 1 point raid and bringing them ahead of the Bulls by 5 points. It had been an incredibly difficult journey to get there, and the leading Pirates were grinning from ear to ear.
The match had been tooth and claw for the entire first 35 minutes of play. Right from the start, a lightning raid from Ajay Thakur gave the edge to Bengaluru, taking out Ravi. Sandeep led the counterstrike, pulling himself out of the Bull's grip. Akay Thakur was not so lucky, and found himself sandwiched in between the full weight of Pirate defensive power. Trading blows, keeping the scores orbiting around dead equal, the two teams gave it everything they had. A masterful raid by Bengaluru left the Pirates with only Mandeep Kumar, who made his team proud by scoring a 2 touch do-or-die raid, giving Patna 3 points and 2 additional players. Together, they were able to bring down Ajay in his following raid. But the Bulls' assault was relentless, and the Patna Pirates were once again reduced to Mandeep. His second do-or-die ended in failure, giving Bengaluru an all-out at the 15th minute. This victory brought the Bulls the confidence they needed to briefly surge ahead, and with multiple A-grade raids and a halting tackle of Sandeep Narwal brought the halftime score to 18 - 13.
The beginning of the second half witnessed a similar pace to the beginning of the first. The Pirates, despite 2 whisker-close raids from Ravi and an artful wraparound tackle of Ajay, were unable to close the gap. But a 2 touch raid from Ravi changed everything. Sandeep took this as a challenge to his raiding excellence, and followed this with an absolutely astounding 3 touch raid that brought the Pirates ahead with a score of 26 - 25s. It would be only take another minute to bring Bengaluru down to their skipper, and Manjit's raid was met with the same vicious Kabaddi competency, giving Patna Pirates their first all out. It was all they would need. The final 2 minutes would yield no fruit for the Bulls, and as Sandeep Narwal ran out the clock in the last 30 seconds, the Bengaluru team saw the writing on the wall. Finishing his raid with a somewhat ostentatious but absolutely warranted cartwheel (perhaps a tribute to his incapacitated captain), Sandeep won the match, and secured Patna a place in Mumbai. It would now be a fight for the 4th position, to be determined tomorrow between the Titans and the Bulls.