Raiders of Pardeep Narwal’s calibre and Siddharth Desai’s size drive fans into raptures, but catchers blessed with craft and courage like Vishal Bharadwaj, Neeraj, Abozar Mighani, Hadi Ostorak can also be a handful.
This contest of offence and defence between Telugu Titans and Patna Pirates ended in a thrill-a-minute tie at 42-42 in the ProKabaddi League at the Balewadi indoor complex on Friday.
Narwal turned, leaped and tumbled in a zone of his own, taking out four, three and two defenders, driving Pirates on with 17 points (19 raids). Desai dominated in a top-score of 12 points (15 raids).
Vishal (four) and Abozar (three) caught the Pirates’ raiding sensation thrice in the second half to move Titans from deficit to equal terms at 40-all. Hadi made his mark at vital stages (five).
The Pirates ace set the stage for a nail-biting second session with a sensational show in the rival half.
He pushed and powered his way to the centreline, beating the combined weight and effort of four Titans defenders. Siddharth, the lone player remaining, fell next as Pirates moved from 10-17 to 19-19 at half-time, signing off the first half with a two-point raid.
Mighani’s timely surge into form, composed catching and intelligent raids played a part in Titans going away with three points from the tie, bucking the trend of three losses.
Priates enjoyed the advantage as long as Narwal remained on the mat, supported by a tricky Jang Kun Lee (seven). The fortunes swung when the defence swung into action, bringing down Siddharth early on, then in the other half Narwal finding escape routes cut off by Titans, who needed a win at all costs, but had to be satisfied with a tie.
The Pune leg witnessed a fitting end with the home team, Puneri Paltan, beating Bengaluru Bulls 42-38 in the second match of the day.
Pune caps off home leg with win
The Pune leg of PKl witnessed a fitting end the home team, Puneri Paltan, beat Bengaluru Bulls 42-38 in the second match of the day.
Pune inflicted an early 'All-out' on Bengaluru, courtesy Pankaj Mohite's brilliance. The raider helped his team bounce back from a 1-4 deficit and race to a 10-6 lead. Mohite found an able companion in the form of Surjeet Singh as he kept the 'Hi-Flyer' Pawan Sehrawat quiet and scored a 'High-5' in the first half.
For Bengaluru, Rohit Kumar stepped up in Pawan's absence, racking up seven points in the first 20 that ended 20-15 in Pune's favour.
Mohite's stellar form continued as he brought up his 'Super-10' in short time after the resumption. The Bulls suffered a second 'All-out'. The crowd was treated to three brilliant individual performances in the final 10.
Rohit and Pawan almost saw Bulls stage a successful comeback with a 'Super-10' each but they both were taken care of by one man. To everyone's surprise, Pune's Sagar Krishna took charge of the defence and tackled Bengaluru's main raiders to register his 'High-5'.
Bengaluru bundled Pune out but with less than two minutes remaining, it was never going to suffice. Mohite steered his team to victory with a monumental 17-point effort.
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