Pawan Kumar Sehrawat was named the MVP last season and he proved just why, once again, on Saturday as he collected a mammoth 29 points to power defending champion Bengaluru Bulls to a 43-42 win over Bengal Warriors in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019).
Known as the 'Hi-Flyer', Pawan single-handedly earned his side the win. Bengaluru Bulls bagged a total of 31 raid points in the tie and Sehrawat alone scored 29. That's how good he was on the night.
The Delhi-lad began by claiming a raid point with a running hand touch off Viraj Vishnu Landge. In the next three raid attempts, he was sent back to the bench twice, courtesy silly errors from his end. Bengal inflicted the first all-out on Bengaluru to take a 10-point lead at 14-4 and looked like the side would run away with the game.
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But as they say, it's not over until it's over. Sehrawat came to the fore and injected life into his side. He kept accumulating points and spearheaded the Bulls' comeback.
The turning point of the first half came in the 19th minute when Sehrawat scored six points in two consecutive raids to inflict an all-out on Bengal. Both teams went into the break at 18-21 with Bengaluru trailing by three points. The first 17 minutes belonged to the Warriors, but the last three were Sehrawat's.
The defining moment of the match arrived early in second half when Sehrawat unleashed his weapon, the flying kick on Rinku Narwal and left him rattled. Bengaluru's deficit was now down just two points and the scoreline read 19-21 in favour of the Warriors.
He received a great helping hand from Saurabh Nandal, who picked up his game in the defense when it mattered the most. Maninder Singh and K. Prapanjan kept the scoreboard ticking for Bengal until Saurabh started tackling to near perfection.
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He took some burden off Sehrawat's shoulder, who continued his rampage. At the 31-36 stage in the game, Sehrawat had bagged 23 raid points, which matched the tally of Bengal's raiders put together.
Sehrawat hit the final nail in the coffin when the Bulls dished out another all-out on Bengal and drew back level at 40-40 two raids later. He then provided the final touch with an uncharacteristic empty raid in the dying stages of the second half to complete a successful comeback for the team.
Bengaluru Bulls is currently placed fifth in the points table after three victories in four matches and the side has largely banked on Sehrawat's exploits. He is now the leading scorer with 57 total and raid points this season, but will need adequate support from his teammates if Bengaluru is to defend its title this season.