Patna Pirates pulled off a convincing 69-30 win over Haryana Steelers at the Dome@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. The win in what was the second eliminator of the evening kept their title defence hopes alive and set up an exciting battle with Puneri Paltan on Tuesday. The star man for Patna was once again their skipper Pardeep Narwal, who broke the record for most points by an individual in a single game (34).
Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference, Patna coach Ram Mehar Singh was effusive in his praise of Dubki King Narwal. “When he is confident and plays his own game then he takes the team towards the win and the matches which we have lost or tied is because Pardeep got tackled. Because of that the team comes under pressure and they also start making mistakes... Today the defence played very well and both the raiders [Narwal and Monu Goyat] also performed well.”
The match saw an incredible super raid by Narwal that accounted for six Haryana players, which is the most in the history of the league. Commenting on this unique feat, Singh added: “We had the lead but that super raid got the match completely under our control because no matter how strong a team is if the players are sent out like that, then they start getting nervous which is exactly what Pardeep did in this match.”
As far as the performances of Patna defenders Vishal Mane and Sachin Shingade were concerned, Singh added: “I trust and want them to do well because they are the senior players in the team who have played all the five seasons. No player in my team has played all the seasons. So I must benefit from their experience and the team should be in control which was not seen in the earlier matches. They both are from Mumbai so they had to prove themselves that they can perform and do well in front of their home crowd. We just told them to play like this is the first match and forget all the mistakes which were made before and they do have the calibre to do it and they did it and also controlled the team very well.”