Bengal Warriors will battle with two-time defending champions Patna Pirates in Qualifier 2 for a spot in the final of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5. Thursday’s crunch match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai will see the two eastern outfits go toe-to-toe for a date with Gujarat Fortunegaints in this season’s grand finale. Bengal lost to Gujarat in Qualifier 1 but will get a second shot against Patna, who seem to have built up a good head of steam following their victories against Haryana Steelers and Puneri Paltan in the eliminators. However, it won’t be an easy task to upstage a Bengal side, who’ve got the better of Patna this season with a win and two ties to show for their efforts against the reigning champions. Here is a detailed look at the encounter.
Qualifier 2 – Bengal Warriors vs Patna Pirates
Head-to-head: Bengal Warriors 2-6 Patna Pirates. 3 ties
Bengal will get a second bite of the cherry to make the final this year when they take on Patna having failed to get the better of Gujarat in the first qualifier in Mumbai on Tuesday. The Warriors will have to show a massive improvement against the Pirates if they’re to put an end to the latter’s title defence hopes. Maninder Singh and Deepak Narwal, who found it hard going against the Fortunegiants’ solid defence, will need to stand up and be counted. Maninder and Deepak have had good outings against Patna this campaign and will be hoping for another show-stopping performance on Thursday. Jang Kun Lee will also need chip in with some points, while defenders Surjeet Singh, Ran Singh, Young Chang Ko and Shrikant Tewthia have to be way more assertive when tackling than they were against Gujarat.
Beating Patna won’t be easy though especially when considering the momentum that they’ll be carrying forward from their last two eliminator games where Dubki King Pardeep Narwal lived up to his billing with incredible match-winning displays. Half the battle will be won or lost depending on how Bengal’s defence contains Pardeep, who has more than 300 raid points this season having broken all sorts of records in the process. Monu Goyat will also have a major role to play against his former employers having provided good support to Pardeep all season. One area where Patna have to be careful, however, is their defence, which has been suspect this season. Vishal Mane began the league as their main defender but Jaideep has taken on the mantle of being his team’s starring performer in defence as the season developed. The likes of Sachin Shingade and Jawahar Dagar also have to hold their own while defending against Bengal.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi
Maninder Singh will feel that he’s due a strong showing after a poor outing against Gujarat last time around. He is Bengal’s best raider of the campaign with 173 raid points and eight Super 10s to his name.
The first and only player to cross 300 raid points in a season, the threat that Pardeep Narwal to Bengal’s chances is cannot be stressed enough. He is in great form and will be looking to add to his 327 raid points as well as 17 Super 10s against Bengal.
Catch the action live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.