In an evening that saw raiders and defenders fight for the spotlight, the Patna leg of the Pro Kabaddi League got off to an explosive start on Saturday.
Patna Pirates began its home run on a disappointing note after a 34-21 thumping at the hands of the Jaipur Pink Panthers while Bengaluru Bulls pulled off a remarkable comeback to beat the Bengal Warriors 43-42 in a game that went down to the wire.
PKL 2019 Day 13, as it happened
Patna Pirates 21- 34 Jaipur Pink Panthers
Sandeep Dhull and Amit Hooda led a spirited Jaipur defence and did well to keep the danger posed by Patna's Pardeep Narwal at bay for almost the entire duration of their tie. Pardeep was on the bench for 23 minutes and nine seconds in this game.
To his credit though, he still managed to make time on the mat count, finishing the game with nine points. He opened the Pirates' account with a raid point in the first minute. Dhull registered his 150th tackle point as the Panthers led 2-1.
Ajinkya Pawar made a two-point raid in the sixth minute to the Panthers a 5-3 lead. Keeping Pardeep quiet for the first 15 minutes was a strategic boost for the Panthers, helping them lead 15-9 in the first half.
The Jaipur side continued its dominance in the second half. Pardeep scored three quick raid points to bring Patna back into the contest, bridging the gap in points to just four as the score line read 14-18 after 26 minutes.
However, that surge did not last long with Amit sending Pardeep back to the bench, completing his high five in the process.
Sandeep joined the party too with a high five, ending hopes of a comeback for the home side.
Panthers managed to inflict a second all out to take the score line to 29-16.
Monu, who came in as a substitute, contributed with a high five for the Pirates, while Dhull got eight tackle points to him while Deepak Narwal contributed eight raid points for the Panthers.
Pardeep was a lone ranger in a lost cause. With a 10-point deficit in the last five minutes and a stoic Jaipur defence, Patna's fate was sealed.
Bengal Warriors 42-43 Bengaluru Bulls
The two sides came into this game with an evenly matched head-to-head record. Defending champion Bengaluru walked away with the upper hand though, with an emphatic 43-42 win over the Warriors, after trailing at one point in the game.
Maninder Singh ensured the Warriors got off to a smooth start, picking up two raid points in his first two raids and sending Mahender Singh and Pawan Sehrawat to the bench.
Bengal dominated most of the first half, with the score line reading 14-4 in its favour at one stage. A calm and collected performance from Maninder, ably assisted Mohammad Nabibakhsh ensured that the Warriors had the upper hand.
This was not to last, as Sehrawat found his rhythm. He registered his 600th raid point in league history. He helped Bengaluru inflict its first all-out of the evening, reducing the deficit from 10 points at a stage to just two. He also quickly moved to another super 10.
From there on, Bengaluru's response to every Bengal tactic was Pawan Sehrawat who finished the game with 29 points, the highest by a player this season.
Prapanjan silently persevered for the Warriors, registering a super 10 against his name. However, it wasn't enough to stop Sehrawat as he took his side to victory by one crucial point.
Sehrawat also has the most points this season, with his tally now at 57.