Bengal Warriors made a winning start to their home leg with a 41-38 victory over Patna Pirates at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Friday. Maninder Singh scored a game-high 13 points for Bengal, including a Super 10, while Pardeep Narwal also got a Super 10 for the Pirates.
Patna were quick off the blocks with Dubki King Pardeep looking sharp straight from the outset. They opened up a 7-2 lead seven minutes into the game but a successful raid under pressure by Bengal’s Bhupender Singh followed by a super tackle from the Warriors saw the match swing in favour of the hosts as the match approached the final 10 minutes of the opening period.
A two-point raid by Bengal’s Maninder in the 12th minute made it 10-7 in favour of the home team, and an All-Out loomed large for the visitors. However, a super tackle by the defending champions moments later changed all that as Patna regained the lead.
With momentum now on their side, it was Patna who effected the first All-Out of the encounter two minutes before half-time to take an 18-12 lead. The Warriors ended the half on a good note with a successful tackle on Pardeep but they still trailed their eastern rivals 18-14 at the break.
The first points of the second period went Patna’s way courtesy of a spectacular two-point raid by Vinod Kumar. Both teams played the second half at a frantic pace, going blow for blow.
Patna were trying to pull away from Bengal but the Warriors did well to be within touching distance of the reigning champions heading into the last 10 minutes of the match. However, a two-point raid by Pardeep a minute later followed by a successful tackle by them in Bengal’s next raid helped Patna finally take control of the game.
The Pirates then ensured some breathing space by inflicting the second All-Out of the match on Bengal in the 34th minute to extend their lead to 34-25. Bengal though weren’t ready to wave the white flag just yet and managed to conjure a superb comeback through Maninder, who raided with gusto to bring his team back into the match and effect an All-Out on Patna.
Maninder then pulled off another successful raid as Bengal took a 39-38 lead. The Warriors then held their nerve and defended astutely, successfully tackling Pardeep and Vinod to win the eastern derby.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.