Bengal Warriors kicked off their VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 campaign in style with a 36-27 win over the Tamil Thalaivas at the Jawaharlal Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Thursday.
Tamil Thalaivas got off to an early start in the first half with veteran Jasvir Singh and captain Ajay Thakur picking up points in their early raids, forcing Bengal Warriors defenders into making tackles that bore little result. But Maninder Singh kept his team in the match in the early exchanges, scoring three points in his first two raids and keeping the score ticking.
Check out the photos from the match here.
Midway through the first half, Tamil Thalaivas reduced Bengal Warriors down to just one man after Mahesh Goud stepped out of bounds leaving only Surjeet Singh on the mat. But Rakesh Narwal came in for Surjeet Singh and executed a Super Raid to take the score from 7-10 to 10-10 while also reviving three teammates and bringing parity to the match.
Jang Kun Lee then tackled Thakur leaving Tamil Thalaivas with just three players on the mat. But that opened an opportunity for a Super Tackle and Sunil did just that, getting Maninder Singh and scoring two points for his team. From here on, Bengal Warriors upped the ante and through an outstanding tackle from Surjeet on substitute raider Vimaj Raj V and a couple of self-outs from Amit Hooda and Manjeet Chhillar left Tamil Thalaivas with only two men on the mat. Maninder Singh got his fourth raid point of the half and last man Jasvir Singh was powerless in stopping Bengal Warriors inflicting an All-Out on his team, as he got tackled on his raid by Left Corner Ran Singh right at the stroke of half-time with Bengal leading 18-15.
The second half started with raider Athul MS getting two points in two raids to ignite hope of a comeback, but Bengal Warriors managed to keep chipping away with points to maintain their lead over their opponents. The tide yet again turned in Bengal Warriors’ favour when raider Mahesh Goud leaped over Amit Hooda and got Athul MS in the process as well, to score a two-point raid and followed it up another two-point raid to leave Tamil Thalaivas with just two men on the mat. It was déjà vu for Tamil Thalaivas as Maninder Singh stepped in to get a raid point and Manjeet Chhilllar was tackled on his subsequent raid by captain Surjeet Singh to inflict a second All-Out and take a nine-point lead with 12 minutes left in the contest.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
From here on, it was all about clock management for Bengal Warriors and they did it to perfection. They managed to kill vast chunks of time on their raids and forced Tamil Thalaivas raiders to venture into their half of the mat to score tackle points calmly. Tamil Thalaivas gave it their all, in an attempt to force to a comeback as they tackled Goud as well as Maninder Singh but Bengal Warriors managed to answer back every time with a tackle of their own on Ajay Thakur and Jasvir Singh. Manjeet Chhillar executed an excellent Super Tackle on Jang Kun Lee in the final minute but it was too little too late as Bengal Warriors hung on to win their opening game in Season 6 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi.