Bengal Warriors produced a clinical performance to beat Tamil Thalaivas 33-29 in a ProKabaddi League match in Greater Noida on Wednesday.
Sukesh Hegde (6 raid points), Mohammad Nabibakhsh (7 total points) and Rinku Narwal (5 tackle points) impressed for the Warriors at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex as they clinched the win to go on top of the PKL 2019 standings.
Rahul Chaudhari scored seven raid points for the Thalaivas as they ended yet another absolutely woeful campaign with a loss. The star-studded Chennai-based team managed only four wins the entire season.
Tamil Thalaivas approached the match with confidence, having beaten the Jaipur Pink Panthers in its previous outing, and gained a decent lead in the early minutes, thanks to the effective raiding prowess of Ajith Kumar and Rahul.
However, Bengal, lead by Iranian all-rounder Nabibakhsh, made a quick comeback as the first-half ended with the scores level on 13-13. Only five tackle points were picked up in the first 20 minutes by either sides.
The Warriors stepped up their game in the second-half, as Sukesh, Nabibakhsh and Rinku, who ended up with a High-5, kept racking up the crucial points.
Though Ran Singh pulled off a wonderful Super Tackle in the fifth-minute of the half, it was just a case of delaying the inevitable with the Warriors picking up an All-Out in the eighth minute to open up a six-point lead.
Tamil Thalaivas' young raider Ajith, who took part in the Khelo India Youth games only in January, was in no mood to be contained and he registered some quick and clever raids to make it a two-point game after a few minutes.
But Rinku Narwal produced a Super Tackle of his own with seven minutes remaining on the clock to halt the comeback of the Thalaivas. Substitute Sourabh Tanaji Patil also chipped in with valuable raid points for the Warriors as they once again opened up a six-point lead with only two minutes left. The Bengal defence held firm in the final minutes to clinch the victory.
- Siddharth Desai stuns home side UP as the Titans end season with a win -
In the other game of the evening, home-team UP Yoddha lost 36-41 to the Telugu Titans. The standout performers for UP were Shrikant Jadhav and Rishank Devadiga, who scored eight raid points each.
Rishank Devadiga also achieved the milestone of reaching 650 total points in the Pro Kabaddi League, while Shrikant Jadhav completed 300 PKL career raid touch points. The first half of the match started with Telugu Titans taking an early lead as it raced to a 6-4 score line with Siddharth Desai leading from the front.
UP then made it 8-10 with the help of a bonus plus touch point raid by Rishank Devadiga. The match was very close throughout the first-half but the Titans managed to get a slender three-point lead with nine minutes left in the half.
AS IT HAPPENED| Greater Noida leg - Day four (UP's home leg)
The Yoddha soon closed the gap and levelled the score with two consecutive successful tackles by Amit and captain Nitesh Kumar and a successful raid by Rishank Devadiga in a do-or-die situation. UP then went on to inflict the first All-Out on the Titans with a tackle by local boy Ashu Singh. The home side headed into the half-time break leading 20-14.
In the second-half, it was one way traffic as UP Yoddha inflicted the second All-Out of the match with captain Nitesh Kumar successfully tackling Rakesh Gowda to give his team a 28-17 lead.
Telugu Titans tried to make a comeback as it inflicted an All-Out of its own on the UP Yoddha with Siddharth Desai scoring a two-pointer to get rid of both Sumit and Aashish Nagar at one go. The score line stood at 33-27 in favour of UP with seven minutes left in the half.
Things were getting really close as a super raid by Siddharth Desai, which caught Nitesh, Amit and Gurdeep off-guard, closed the gap at 33-31. A Super Tackle from Sumit, which took out Siddharth Desai, helped the Yoddha to move slightly ahead.
But a second All-Out inflicted on them by the Titans made sure the Yoddha trailed for the first time in the match at 36-38. In spite of the valiant efforts by UP Yoddha towards the end, Telugu Titans came out victorious 41-36 to end its miserable season on a high.
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