Rohit Kumar’s incredible 13-point performance wasn’t enough to overturn Patna Pirates’ 12-point lead at the half, as the reigning champions held on in the closing stages to secure a 35-32 win over Bengaluru Bulls. This victory is Patna Pirates’ fifth on the trot and leaves them just four points off the top of the standings in Zone B.
Patna Pirates were off to a flyer, scoring the first four points of the match. Jawahar Dagar sent Pawan Kumar Sehrawat to the bench with a tackle before Pardeep Narwal managed to get a second touch point on Mahender Singh to give his side a 7-2 lead. Patna Pirates’ defence, led by Kale, continued their aggressive approach as they limited Bengaluru Bulls’ raiders to just two points in the opening 10 minutes.
With three men left on the mat, Pardeep showcased his class, getting a touch on Sehrawat and following it up with a two-point raid to inflict the game’s first All-Out and give his side a 16-5 lead in the match.
Patna Pirates continued their excellent start post the All-Out with Manjeet getting a touch point on Ashish Sangwan and Left Corner Jaideep scoring two tackle points in quick succession. Captain Rohit Kumar was the lone warrior for his side in offence, getting Kale and Tae Deok Eom in back-to-back raids. But Pardeep continued to dazzle, scoring a two-point raid to take his tally to nine on the night in just over 19 minutes. Adake got a touch point in the final play of the half as the teams headed into the break with Patna Pirates leading 23-11.
The second half saw a role reversal with Bengaluru Bulls scoring the first four points to cut into Patna Pirates’ lead and give themselves a chance to overturn the deficit. Sehrawat opened the half with three raid points in three minutes and Bengaluru Bulls’ defence managed to tackle Pardeep to reduce Patna Pirates’ lead down to eight. But Patna Pirates retaliated by scoring five of the next six points, the highlights of which were two emphatic tackles by Jawahar Dagar on Rohit Kumar and Pawan Kumar Sehrawat.
With the score at 29-19 in Patna Pirates’ favour, Pardeep got a touch point on Adake to complete a Super 10; his tenth of the campaign. Rohit Kumar continued to toil for his side, getting Dagar and Kale in the same raid and following it up with a Scorpion Kick on Jaideep to complete his Super 10. Kumar then got Jaideep yet again in the 37th minute and the defence followed it up by tackling Deepak Narwal, leaving Patna Pirates with just three men on the mat.
Rohit Kumar went in to raid and an All-Out here would have chopped down Patna Pirates’ lead to just one. But, with the Super Tackle on, Dagar Dashed towards Kumar and was ably backed by substitute Manish as they stopped the raider in his tracks to score two points for their side.
Rohit Kumar finally inflicted an All-Out with a touch point in the last minute, but it was too little too late as Patna Pirates hung on to secure the victory.
Patna Pirates –
Best Raider: Pardeep Narwal (11 Raid Points)
Best Defender: Jawahar Dagar (5 Tackle Points)
Bengaluru Bulls –
Best Raider: Rohit Kumar (13 Raid Points)
Best Defender: Amit Sheoran (3 Tackle Points)