Patna Pirates thrashed Tamil Thalaivas 52-24 with a defensive masterclass in Pro Kabaddi League 8 (PKL 8) in Bengaluru on Friday.
It was a complete team performance from the Pirates with all three raiders contributing. The 28-point margin in the victory will also help them consolidate their position in the race for playoff spots.
Three Patna defenders - Mohammadreza Shadloui (6 tackle points), Neeraj Kumar (6 tackle points) and Sunil (5 tackle points) – picked up High 5s in a total shut down from the men in green. Coach Ram Mehar Singh’s men had 21 tackle points on the night – Patna’s best in vivo PKL history – as they gave Tamil Thalaivas no chance to stage a fightback.
The early minutes were a closely contested affair with both defences looking strong. Patna, on the mat after a nine-day break, looked fresh with raider Monu Goyat and right corner Sunil back in action.
Monu Goyat impressed with his raids, switching sides effortlessly, and troubling the cover defenders. He orchestrated the first All Out of the match in the 13th minute. Thalaivas' defence didn’t look its usual best as Patna captain Prashanth Rai picked raid points. Thalaivas' raiders Ajinkya Pawar and Manjeet tried their best to close the gap, but the first half ended 21-12 with Patna looking in complete control.
Patna sustained the pressure with its left corner defender Mohammadreza Shadloui also getting in on the act. He combined well with cover defenders Sajin C and Neeraj Kumar to help the Pirates clinch another All Out four minutes after the interval. Thalaivas had no answers to Patna’s team game and would have been reduced to two men on the mat had Sagar not pulled off a Super Tackle on Monu Goyat. Sagar clinched his High 5 in the process, but the team failed to close the points gap.
Patna inflicted another All Out with eight minutes on the clock as Mohammadreza Shadloui completed his High 5. It was total domination by the three-time champion which raced to a 24-point lead with five minutes remaining. Neeraj Kumar and Sunil secured their High 5s in the dying minutes as Patna clinched the win that helped it move to second on the points table.