Bengaluru Bulls will set out to resume its title defence when it squares off against U.P. Yoddha in Eliminator 1 of the season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) on Monday. A win will see the Bulls advance to the semifinal.
The Randhir Singh-led Bulls will make its fourth playoff appearance and the team couldn’t have done it without one man - Pawan Kumar Sehrawat.
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Pawan, who was named the MVP last season, proved his mettle yet again this year with his exploits in the raiding department. The Delhi-born star finished the league stage with the highest number of total points (332), raid points (308), successful raids (240) and second in the list of most ‘Super-Raids’ at 10.
Here are his five moments best moments of brilliance from the league stage:
1) The "Extra" factor that separates Pawan Sehrawat from the ordinary.
Want to see an example of difference between ordinary and extraordinary? Look no further than the Pro Kabaddi mat as day in and day out, Pawan Sehrawat showcases the stark distinction between himself and his fellow raiders.
Eliminator 1 on October 14 at the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad was no different. From trailing 10-19 to winning by an extremely slender margin, Pawan's extra-time heroics helped the defending champion bulldoze past UP Yoddha qualify for the semifinals.
For the first time in the history of the PKL, a playoff game extended into extra-time as UP and Bengaulu were tied 36-36 at the end of regulation time. After six minutes of added time, which was divided into two halves of three minutes each, the Bulls clinched a 48-45 victory.
Hero of the match? The you-know-who raider.
Pawan amassed 18 touch points and nicked two bonuses from 25 raids as Bengaluru survived a huge scare from Nitesh Kumar and co. in the UP outfit.
Pawan was initially kept mute in the beginning by Nitesh in the right corner, but he broke free after a three-point 'Super-raid' in the 12th minute of the game. Despite falling prey to a brace of "Super-tackles' in the second half, he ensured that Bengaluru drew level by the end of regulation time.
He hammered the final nail in the coffin with a 'Super-raid' in the first minute of extra-time and capped it off another successful night for the team by inflicting an 'All-out' to seal the game.
2) Surpassing Pardeep Narwal’s record for most raid points in a single match
On October 2 at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula, against the home side Haryana Steelers, Pawan scored a mammoth 39 raid points to break the two-year old record for most raid points in a PKL match.
The record was previously held by Patna's skipper Pardeep, who had scored 34 points against the same team in the fifth edition of the league.
Pawan set the tone in the first half of the match when he bagged 18 points and his moment of glory arrived with five minutes left in the second half when he sent Kuldeep Singh back to the bench with a running hand touch to score his 35th point of the night. Bengaluru defeated Haryana 59-36.
3) Pawan Sehrawat- One man show
Two records in the same game? Check! Pawan Sehrawat also became the first player to score all his team’s raid points in a single match. He put in 38 raids and scored 39 raid points.
Watch our exclusive interview with Pawan Kumar Sehrawat on our show Kings of Kabaddi
The ‘Bull’ in Pawan picked up points at will on the night and in the process, he also bagged 10 points off the same defender in Vikas Kale.
4) 29-point outing against Bengal Warriors
On August 3 at the Patliputra Stadium in Patna, Pawan Sehrawat registered 29 raid points against Bengal Warriors and had come agonisingly close to shattering Pardeep's record.
After being tackled twice early in the game, Bengaluru Bulls found itself in deep waters and was trailing by 10 points after suffering an early ‘All-out’. And then came along Pawan. Living up to his expectations, Pawan refused to give up and brought his side back right into the contest by scoring six points in two raids to hand his side the momentum going into the break.
He eventually scored 29 of the team’s 31 raid points to help Bengaluru sneak past Bengal to secure a one-point victory.
5) Glimpses of a potential all-rounder in the future
In the first half of the season, Pawan Sehrawat took the opposition, the crowd and even his own teammates by surprise when he finished with four tackle points, including a ‘Super-Tackle’ in a game against Telugu Titans in Patna.
Pawan finished the league stage with a 14 tackle points, which is twice the number of tackle points scored by the other top four raiders of the season combined.
Watch our exclusive interview with Vikash Kandola on our show Kings of Kabaddi
In the fourth minute of the game, he executed a ‘Super-Tackle’ on Siddharth Desai to take his side into the lead. Six minutes later, he pinned down Armaan in a Titans’ ‘Do-or-die’ raid.
Five minutes into the second half, Pawan floored Siddharth once again to help his team inflict an ‘All-Out’ on the opposition. The Bulls cruised to a dominating 47-26 victory.
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