The battle between Bengaluru Bulls and Bengal Warriors ended with the former winning 31-25 to ring in an upset for a team who were in rampaging form. Though the match was closely fought, Rohit Kumar’s men took home the honours and full points. After 2 losses and a tie in their previous three matches, the Bulls were ecstatic to be back to winning ways with a comprehensive all-round performance over the Warriors from the east at Nagpur’s Mankapur Indoor Stadium on Wednesday evening.

“It was an all-round performance. Our offence was good but the defence was great today,” Bulls coach Randhir Singh said ecstatically.

The star of the night was, however, raider Ajay Kumar who came out of the shadow of Rohit to display his brilliance on the mat. It was his super raid in the 27th minute that drove the match towards the Bulls. The coach and captain both spoke of the raider in glowing terms.

“I spoke to him before the match. I told him that you can play well but you’re not playing to your potential right now. You have an injury in your knee and it’s a game where injuries happen. You have to overcome the pain and perform well for the team. I have a lot of faith in him because a do-or-die raid is very tough. In that raid, there is pressure on the raider as well as the opponents’ defence,” said the coach.

Rohit weighed in. “I knew that if he gave his 100 percent he will get points for the team. The main problem was the injury because of which he could not concentrate on his performance but today we saw how well he can perform. Those four points were crucial for us because after that it became easy for us to get them All-Out,” he said.

The Warriors, meanwhile, were not at their best and after a competitive first 30 minutes, failed to stamp their authority in the next 10. Captain Surjeet Singh, however, disagreed that his team took the Bulls lightly due to their recent slump in form. “It’s a match. You either win or lose. It happens. Our defence also made some mistakes in the game.”

Bengal Warriors are known for their strong attacking line-up having the likes of Maninder Singh, Jang Kun Lee and Vinod Kumar but they failed to show their master class in front of the Bulls’ defence led by Ravinder Pahal. When asked why except Kun Lee none of the others could bring in a difference, Surjeet said:
“There were mistakes from the raiders, also. If one more raider could have done well then we would have won the match. It depends on the day of a raider. Today wasn’t the day for our raiders, but in the next match we will come back strong.”

Coach Jagdish Kumble provided a different perspective on the defeat.  “It’s a league match so we cannot predict anything. Their raiders were playing with a free-mind but our raiders were thinking about a win. Otherwise, the team performed well but it was their day today. We have 22 matches to play so we can’t say that we will win all the matches. We made errors in the match but we will come back stronger in the next match,” he said.