PKL: Bulls blunts Thalaivas' charge

On the final day of the Chennai leg of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League here on Thursday, the Tamil Thalaivas succumbed to a 35-45 defeat against Bengaluru Bulls.

Action from the Pro Kabaddi League match between Tamil Thalaivas and Bengaluru Bulls at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai, on Thursday.   -  R. Ragu

The host, Tamil Thalaivas, has been so consistently inconsistent this season that its fans could be forgiven for assuming that winning is indeed rocket science for this Ajay Thakur-led side.

And on the final day of the Chennai leg of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League here on Thursday, in an attempt to avoid finishing in the bottom of the pile, Tamil Thalaivas succumbed to a 35-45 defeat against Bengaluru Bulls. 

Bulls tamed the Thalaivas early in the match, going 3-1 up inside the first five minutes, thanks to captain Rohit Kumar who drew first blood with a bonus point. Moments later, the star raider was once again in the thick of the action, dishing out a scorpion kick to pocket two more points, as Bulls led 6-4. 

Thalaivas' Prapanjan tried to restore parity to the proceedings, scoring two points while playing an able second fiddle to in-form Thakur who bagged four points. However, the duo couldn't prevent the Bulls from charging to a 19-10 lead at the half-way mark. 

At this stage, the visitor had 11 raid points to the Thalaivas' six and was further buoyed by two All-Out points which helped it sustain the early advantage. 

As the night progressed, the Thalaivas came undone as the Bulls switched to a foot-on-the-pedal approach - its raiders slipping through the Thalaivas' butterfingers at regular intervals even as the defenders pounced on the host raiders like there was no tomorrow. And the efforts duly reflected on the head-to-head tally.

On the stroke of full-time, the Bulls had 12 tackle points to the Thalaivas' seven, drawing level in the number of raid points scored - 24. Kumar led by example with 17 raid points from 24 raids while Sachin Kumar was the top defender for the visitor, grabbing five raid points from 10 raids. 

The Thalaivas' over-dependence on its captain was evident on the scorecard, with Thakur once again emerging as the top raider with 15 points from 21 raids and Darshan J. collecting six points from eight tackles. 

As for the spirited crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor stadium, it was the same film running on loop- Rinse and Repeat. The Thalaivas came, the Thalaivas played, the Thalaivas lost – six times out of six.