Just over a week after their previous meeting, Zone B rivals Bengal Warriors and Patna Pirates faceoff yet again on Saturday. While Patna Pirates have 8 overall victories over Bengal Warriors, their previous 5 matches have seen two ties and one defeat to Bengal Warriors making the recent head-to-head record much closer. Their previous encounter was a low-scoring thriller in Patna where the home team edged out Bengal Warriors by a narrow scoreline of 27-25.
However, Bengal Warriors were without their key raider Maninder Singh in that match and the raiding responsibilities were shouldered by Ran Singh. With Maninder coming into the equation and the home advantage being taken out, things could get tricky for Patna Pirates.
Match 56 (Zone B): Patna Pirates vs. Bengal Warriors
Head-to-head: Patna Pirates 8-2 Bengal Warriors. 3 ties.
Since their defeat to Patna Pirates, Bengal Warriors have managed to get some momentum going with a tie against U.P. Yoddha and a victory over Telugu Titans. Their defence was brilliant in the latter match, scoring 14 tackle points owing to Baldev Singh’s High 5. Maninder Singh once again made the difference by scoring 6 of the team’s 11 raid points against one of the best defensive setups in the current season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi.
Patna Pirates have won only two of their previous six encounters with the second victory coming in their last match against Bengal Warriors. In this period, they have scored 214 points while conceding 236. They could potentially have a fully-fit Pardeep Narwal back in their ranks in this match though which is a tough proposition for any team to overcome. A second straight victory over Bengal Warriors will put Patna Pirates over U.P. Yoddha in Zone B on score difference.
The big battle
Pardeep Narwal vs. Maninder Singh
Pardeep Narwal has been his usual self in Season 6 and is just five points away from making it a fourth straight season with 100 or more raid points. Narwal has scored 42.22% of his team’s raid points, proving himself invaluable to Patna Pirates. In eight games with the Patna Pirates against Bengal Warriors, Narwal has scored 86 raid points at an average of 10.75, as opposed to his career average of 9.86.
Maninder Singh, meanwhile, has scored 44.80% of his team’s raid points making his contribution to the team’s cause vital. He will also be playing against his favourite opposition as he has scored 68 raid points against Patna Pirates so far at an average of 11.33.
Both raiders were unavailable for their sides when these two teams met last which led to a low-scoring game. The raider who outscores the other could make the difference for his team this time around.
Jaideep – Patna Pirates
Jaideep has been a revelation for Patna Pirates in defence and is currently third in the race for Best Defender with 33 tackle points in 10 games. In Maninder Singh, Jaideep could be up against his toughest assignment so far as has managed just one tackle point against the raider in 11 tackle attempts. He will need to step up as the team’s lead defender if Patna Pirates are to make a match of this.
Ran Singh – Bengal Warriors
Ran Singh has truly justified his all-rounder status this season by scoring 15 raid points and 11 tackle points in his team’s cause. He was the team’s leading raider in their previous encounter with Patna Pirates and now, with Maninder coming back into the side, he will be able to provide good backup in reviving Maninder whenever he gets sent to the bench.
Bengal Warriors have the least tackle points in Season 6 while Patna Pirates are second in terms of raid points scored.