The Bengal Warriors defeated Patna Pirates 30-28 in a hard-fought match in the Pro Kabaddi League at the Rajiv Gandhi Port Stadium in Vizag on Monday.
For the Warriors this was a much-needed win as it keeps them in contention for a playoff spot, although more victories need to come their way. The Pirates will look upon the loss as a fantastic opportunity wasted to ususrp the Jaipur Pink Panthers, who are in second place.
Heading into the match the Pirates, who had hammered the Jaipur Pink Panthers in their previous game, were the clear favourites against an out of form Bengal Warriors. The Warriors defence was not expected to withstand what the Patna attack would throw at them. In the end, it was the Warriors defence that stood firm against the Pirates.
The match began with the Pirates attacking the Warriors early on. Star player and Pirates' skipper Rakesh Kumar mounted a raid and opened the scoring. He was in the thick of the action again as Bengal's Shyam Kumar Sha could not stop him from scoring again.
At this juncture Patna were in the ascendancy. It was not just Kumar who was proving to be dangerous; Sandeep Narwal was beginning to worry the Warriors with his constant forays.
Then a stroke of luck came the Warriors' way. Rakesh Kumar hurt his ankle while trying to tackle Mahendra Rajput and had to go off the court. Nilesh Shinde then fought back for the Warriors by scoring. Soon, both teams were tied at 9-9. Patna, however, came back and took a three-point lead as both sides ended the first half.
In the second half the Warriors defence shone after their offence seized the lead. Mahesh Goud, with constant forays into the Pirates corner, was the hero for the Warriors in this half with his LONA points.
His efforts were backed by a strong Warriors defence. On numerous occasions they thwarted Patna getting points on the board. Ravi Dalal tried to put Patna back on top but he could not succeed. Skipper Kumar, who came back after his ankle had been tended to, gave it his all, but in the end the Bengal Warriors held on for the win.
1] U Mumba - 38 points
2] Jaipur Pink Panthers - 35 points
3] Patna Pirates - 33 points
4] Bengaluru Bulls - 30 points
5] Telugu Titans - 28 points
6] Dabang Delhi - 26 points
7] Bengal Warriors - 20 points
8] Puneri Paltan - 15 points