Reigning champions Bengaluru Bulls began their VIVO Pro Kabaddi title defence with a 34-32 win over Patna Pirates at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Saturday. Bengaluru Bulls’ Pawan ‘Hi-Flyer’ Sehrawat scored nine points and defender Amit Sheoran registered a High 5, while Pardeep ‘Record-Breaker’ Narwal finished with a Super 10 for Patna Pirates.
Bengaluru Bulls started the match brightly with their star raiders Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar finding success. Patna Pirates’ Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou, who was making his VIVO Pro Kabaddi debut, was their best performer in the early stages and kept the three-time champions in the contest with an important Super Tackle and then a raid.
The Iranian all-rounder’s display seemed to have turned the momentum in Patna Pirates’ favour as Pardeep also started to grow into the game with a couple of successful raids. Just when it looked like Patna Pirates were about inflict the first All-Out of the match, Bengaluru Bulls replied with a Super Tackle of their own.
However, Bengaluru Bulls’ resistance ended in the 18th minute as Patna Pirates inflicted the first All-Out of the match and took a 14-11 lead. They extended their lead to 17-13 by half-time and could have been ahead by an even larger margin had it not been for a stunning two-point raid that saw Sehrawat do the ‘Dubki’.
The second half got underway with Maghsoudlou scoring the first point of the half for Patna Pirates while raiding. The three-time champions looked to build on their lead and even opened up an eight-point lead at one stage. Bengaluru Bulls’ defence though fought back intelligently and valiantly with four super tackles to make it a two-point game with eight minutes left on the clock.
Shortly after, two successful raids in quick succession by Sehrawat saw Bengaluru Bulls tie the game at 24-24, making it all to play for with a little over six minutes left. With the wind in their sails, Bengaluru Bulls pulled off some quick raids as well as robust tackles to inflict an All-Out on Patna Pirates in the 36th minute to take a 30-26 lead. Both sides continued to trade blows in the closing stage of the encounter, but it was Bengaluru Bulls who eventually held their nerve and won the game by two points.
Bengaluru Bulls –
Best Raider – Pawan Sehrawat (9 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Amit Sheoran (5 Tackle Points)
Patna Pirates –
Best Raider – Pardeep Narwal (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou (3 Tackle Points)