An excellent raiding effort led by K. Prapanjan and Maninder Singh, along with Rinku Narwal’s High 5 gave Bengal Warriors a 35-26 victory over Tamil Thalaivas at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Thursday. ‘Iceman’ Ajay Thakur scored a fighting Super 10 for Tamil Thalaivas but was unable to give them the victory they needed to rise into the top six of the Season 7 standings.
Thakur started things well for Tamil Thalaivas and gave them an early lead with a couple of successful raids right off the bat. But K. Prapanjan kept scoring for Bengal Warriors and finally helped his team level the score in the 7th minute with a two-point raid that sent veterans Mohit Chhillar and Shabeer Bappu to the bench.
Prapanjan continued his good run and put in another two-point raid to weaken the Tamil Thalaivas defence even further with touches on Manjeet Chhillar and Ran Singh. This opened the door for Bengal Warriors to inflict the first All-Out of the night on Tamil Thalaivas and they did just that after a successful tackle on Thakur, which gave them a 11-7 lead.
Thakur continued collecting points for Tamil Thalaivas and put in a two-point raid of his own once his team reassembled on the mat. He put in two more successful raids in the first half and was helped by ‘Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari’s efforts in attack as well as Manjeet’s strong defending as Tamil Thalaivas reduced the deficit to 14-15 going into the break.
Tamil Thalaivas were looking to get on level terms at the start of the second period, but Bengal Warriors ensured that didn’t happen through Rinku, who sent the opponent’s two biggest raiders - Thakur and Chaudhari – to the bench in quick succession. The team’s third raiding option – Bappu – was then tackled by Baldev Singh to put Tamil Thalaivas in a spot of bother.
However, coach E Bhaskaran sent in Anand in a tense situation and he responded emphatically with a Super Raid to reduce the deficit and get Tamil Thalaivas back in the game. Rinku, though, sent Thakur to the bench once again in the ‘Iceman’s’ next raid. He was rewarded for his consistent effort with a High 5 and inflicted another All-Out on Tamil Thalaivas to put Bengal Warriors in a commanding position with an eight-point lead.
Maninder assumed the role of main raider for Bengal Warriors in the second period but Prapanjan soon came back to the fore with yet another two-point raid which gave him a well-deserved Super 10 with four minutes left to play.
Thakur also reached his Super 10 in the very next raid as he continued to fight for Tamil Thalaivas. But, once Mohammad Nabibakhsh sent Thakur to the bench, it ended Tamil Thalaivas’ slim chances of a comeback. In the end, it was just a matter of killing time for Bengal Warriors as they secured a comfortable nine-point victory.
Bengal Warriors -
Top Raider – K. Prapanjan (10 Raid Points)
Top Defender – Rinku Narwal (5 Tackle Points)
Tamil Thalaivas -
Top Raider – Ajay Thakur (11 Raid Points)
Top Defender – Ajeet (3 Tackle Points)