Patna Pirates grabs third successive PKL title

Patna Pirates scripted history on Saturday, when it soared past the Gujarat Fortunegiants 55-38 to clinch its third successive Pro Kabaddi League title at Chennai's Jawarharlal Nehru Indoor stadium. 

Action during the Pro Kabaddi final between Patna Pirates and Gujarat Fortunegiants in Chennai on Saturday.   -  PTI

Patna Pirates scripted history on Saturday, when it soared past the Gujarat Fortunegiants 55-38 to clinch its third successive Pro Kabaddi League title at Chennai's Jawarharlal Nehru Indoor stadium.  Patna's Pardeep Narwal, who has been in phenomenal form this season, was the star of the evening, bagging 19 points to lead his side's charge in the final of the fifth edition of the PKL.

The Fortunegiants, though, got off to a flier, with Rakesh Narwal scoring three points off his very first raid to give the side a 3-2 lead. Pardeep seemed to have no way to get past the Gujarat defence initially and was denied in his first two attempts, only for Gujarat's star-raider Sachin Tawar to extend the lead to 5-2.

MATCH CENTRE

Sukesh Hegde staged the first All Out of the game to widen the gap in Gujarat's favour to 9-3 in the fifth minute. Abozar Mighani seemed to have Pardeep all figured out and executed a perfectly timed ankle-lock in the 11 minute to deny Pardeep again.

However, Patna slowly clawed its way back into the tie, with its defence finally coming to life around the 10th minute. And Pardeep, not being one to back down from a challenge, came back to haunt the Gujarat defence and inflicted a Super Tackle cum All Out in the 15 minute. That brought the score on level terms at 15-15. Patna held on to go into the half-time break leading 21-18.

READ: There is something in the name Sachin!

Continuing where it left off, Patna surged to a 27-21 lead within three minutes of the start of the second half. Mahendra Rajput tried getting Gujarat back into the tie and got the score to 26-29, with twelve minutes to go.

The ever-dependable Pardeep was at his best yet again and played out another brilliant All Out to secure five points for his side and propelling it to a massive 12-point lead at 38-26. It was all Patna here on and Pardeep was at it again as he stretched his side's lead to 45-34, with five minutes on the clock. The Gujarat defence seemed to be in tatters, only for Patna to exploit the void left by Sukesh's absence in the second half and surge to its third successive PKL title.

The experience of Patna trumped any sort of "beginners luck" that debutant Gujarat could have enjoyed and in the end, it was Patna's fierce raiding that outdid Gujarat's stone-wall defence.  

                                   HONOURS BOARD

 

TOP SCORER OF THE SEASON: Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates)

DEBUTANT OF THE SEASON: Sachin Tawar (Gujarat Fortunegiants)

RAIDER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Pardeep Narwal

DEFENDER OF THE TOURNAMENT: Surender Nada (Haryana Steelers)

MVP OF THE SEASON: Pardeep Narwal