The Nagpur leg of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 kicked off at the Mankapur Indoor Stadium with the southern derby between home team Bengaluru Bulls and newcomers Tamil Thalaivas on Friday. Bengaluru Bulls entered the match high on confidence on the back of a thumping victory over Telugu Titans in their first match of the season, while the Thalaivas needed to pick themselves up from their defeat to the Titans in what was also the season opener.
Actor Vidyut Jammwal started the proceedings by his rendition of the National Anthem as the Nagpur leg came to life. Rohit Kumar won the toss for Bengaluru Bulls and chose the side of the mat. Captain Ajay Thakur opened the raiding for the Thalaivas and Ajay Kumar for the Bulls but both ended empty. The first point of the match was won by none other than Rohit for the Bulls through a touch point, while Bhavani Rajput picked up Thalaivas’ first point.
After this, the rest of the half was completely a Bulls show with Rohit being almost indomitable. By the 7th minute, the Bulls had initiated the first Tamil Thalaivas All-Out of the match. A series of do-or-die raids followed with the Thalaivas bringing in D. Pradap and M. Thivakaran into the mix but that didn’t help much as they got their second All-Out in the 15th minute. By the end of the first half, the Bulls had a massive 15-point lead with the scoreline at 23:8.
The second half started with Dong Geon Lee’s introduction for the Thalaivas. Thakur started the Thalaivas’ attempt to make a comeback with a touch point in the half’s first chance. However, during a series of do-or-die raids a few minutes later, Mahender Singh attained his High 5 for the Bulls to strengthen his team. Things began to change thereafter for the Bulls. The match slowly started tilting towards the Thalaivas as they pulled their first All-Out on the Bulls in the 31st minute and then again in the 38th minute. However, the drama wasn’t quite over yet. In the 39th minute, Rohit picked up a raid point to complete his Super 10. The Thalaivas had made an amazing comeback to trail the opponents by just a point with just a minute to spare. In the last raid of the game, the Thalaivas asked for a review to check whether Rohit had crossed the white line to make the raid legal. The review went unsuccessful as the Bulls narrowly won the match by a 32-31 scoreline.