Patna Pirates defeated the Bengaluru Bulls 33-31 in the Pro Kabaddi League at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bangalore on Monday.
The Pirates, with this win, have booked a place for themselves in the semifinals. In this closely-fought encounter, the boys from Patna somehow got their act together and prevailed over the boys from Bangalore. The Bulls now, with this loss, face a must-win encounter against the Telugu Titans on Tuesday.
Heading into the match, both sides were expected to fight tooth and nail as a semifinal position stared them in the face. For the Patna Pirates it was more crucial as a loss would have left them with no chance of making it to the last four.
A semifinal spot looked distant at one point as they were trailing Bangalore by five points in the first half. To make matters worse they lost skipper and star raider Rakesh Kumar due to injury. They, however, summoned hidden reserves to surpass the boys from Bangalore.
It was the Bulls who started the game well as they pushed the Patna Pirates onto the back foot. Ajay Thakur mounted a raid early on for the Bulls and was successful in his endeavour as he scored. The Pirates then hit back through Sandeep Narwal. The Bulls, though, did not let up as they scored regularly in the first half. As halftime came, the Bulls led by five points with the score reading 18-13.
At this juncture, the Pirates needed to hit back fast, otherwise the game could have slipped out of their hands. They, however, did not start the second half well as their offense failed to penetrate the Bengaluru Bulls defence.
The Pirates, though, needed to keep on attacking and they did so. Ultimately this paid-off as Ravi Dalal, with a raid of his own, managed to slip past the Bulls and score. Soon Narwal too added to the score which now stood at 26-25 in the favour of the Pirates.
From here on, the Pirates defended resolutely and continued to attack as they desperately hung on for a place in the semis. They thwarted an attack by Bulls' skipper Manjit Chillar and then much to their joy the Pirates scored. In the end they held out to come out triumphant.
1[ Jaipur Pink Panthers -- 53 points
2] U Mumba -- 46 points
3] Patna Pirates -- 45 points
4] Telugu Titans -- 41 points
5] Bengaluru Bulls -- 37 points
6] Dabang Delhi -- 32 points
7] Bengal Warriors -- 24 points
8] Puneri Paltan -- 16 points