Patna Pirates makes it two PKL titles in a row

Showing the big-match temperament under the stewardship of Dharmaraj Cherlanathan, Patna was more aggressive in the second-half with raider Rajesh Mondal complimenting the more consistent Pardeep Narwal.

Patna Pirates players celebrate with trophy after defeating Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi in Hyderabad.   -  AP

The victorious Storm Queens team poses with the title at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.   -  K. V. S. Giri

Patna Pirates became the first team to defend its title when it got the better of former champion Jaipur Pink Panthers 37-29 in the men's final of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League Season 4 at the Gachibowli Stadium here on Sunday.

After leading 19-16 at the break, Patna, led by its star raider Pardeep Narwal, who was given admirable support in defence by the Iranian trio of Fazel Atrachali in left corner, Hadi Oshtrorak in the right corner and Abolfazel Maghsodlo in the centre, was clearly the superior side.

Showing the big-match temperament under the stewardship of Dharmaraj Cherlanathan, Patna was more aggressive in the second-half with raider Rajesh Mondal complimenting the more consistent Pardeep.

Jaipur raiders, led by its captain Jasvir Singh, were not given the desired leeway and their woes compounded with the splendid tackles by Patna defence.

In all, Patna had six bonus points and two all-outs and Jaipur four bonus points and no all-outs.

Queens clinch honours

Storm Queens clinched a thriller to lift the inaugural edition of the Pro Kabaddi Women’s League with a nail-biting 24-23 win over Fire Birds in the final at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

There was very little to choose between the two sides led by Asian Games gold medallists, Tejaswini Bai (Storm Queens) and Mamtha Poojari (Fire Birds).

After a cautious display in the first-half, Storm Queens raised the tempo as raiders Jyoti, Priyanka Negi and Rasmita Sahoo worked in tandem with a tight defence to pick points frequently to lead 20-13 with five minutes to go.

Then, a couple of defensive lapses by Queens saw Fire Birds bounce back. Payal Choudhary and R. Mohana helped their team stage a fightback and narrow the lead (20-22).

Soon, there was excitement in the stands as Fire Birds scored its first all-out at the critical junction to take a stunning 23-22 lead in the dying seconds.

But Tejaswini Bai, drawing from her vast experience, scored two crucial points and a bonus in the final raid of the match that triggered the celebrations in the Queens' camp.

“Yes, the target was to get the bonus in my last raid as we just did not want to go into extra time,” remarked a jubilant Tejaswini later.

“There was pressure because of the mistakes in the defence and in the first instance we should not have squandered such a handsome lead,” she said.

A delighted Queens coach and former Asian Games gold medallist Neeta Dadwe said it was sheer experience and smart play by Tejaswini which clinched the issue for them in those tense dying moments.

Fire Birds captain Mamtha confessed her side was in a celebratory mood a bit too early in the dying seconds. “We should have been more focussed. We were definitely confused at that particular moment,” she said.

Result: Women’s final: Storm Queens bt Fire Birds 24-23.