Bengal Warriors handed Patna Pirates their first defeat by a Zone B opposition this season after winning 41-38 at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Friday. Maninder Singh was the hero of the day for Bengal after playing a starring role for them with a game-high 13 points. The Warriors looked like they were about to have a losing start to their home leg but Maninder’s late show ensured that they snatched a win from the jaws of defeat.

Speaking about his team’s late surge to victory at the post-match press conference, Bengal coach Jagdish Kumble said: “I think the match was close because of the errors which happened. We were about to lose the match but I think the other team [also] made errors and we capitalised on that,” he said.

Captain Surjeet Singh accompanied his coach to the press conference and offered an insight into the Warriors’ game-plan against the Pirates. “We had plans ready for them. They also changed their raiders because they were getting tackled. I told Maninder not to take any pressure and raid and the plans were successful for us today,” he said.

Meanwhile, Patna coach Ram Mehar Singh was left ruing the closing moments of the game against Bengal for the second time in a week. “I think in the last minutes of the match the defence should be controlled better because they made the same mistakes which they made in the last match [against the same opposition in Mumbai]. If we could have tackled Maninder in the last moments, then the match would have turned in our favour. So, I think because of the defensive errors we lost the match,” he said.