A nail biting finish where the defence of Bengal Warriors ensured that there was no last-second slip up, saw the team reach the Pro Kabaddi League final for the first time as they defeated U Mumba 37-35. In the last raid of the match, Arjun Deshwal of Mumbai team needed to score one point to tie the scores but he failed to do so and got tackled, giving Bengal the win.
The first half saw of this match was progressing in an even manner as both sides were scoring points, U Mumba mainly through Abhishek Singh and thier opponents through the combined efforts of Sukesh Hegde, K Prapanjan and captain Mohammad Nabibaksh.
But then the gap begin to increase as the Bengal defence started to come into their own. While Abhishek kept fighting hard, he seemed like a lonely soldier. The first half was won by the Warriors 18-12. Things were getting worse for Mumbai as their famed defensive unit of Fazel Atrachali, Surinder Singh and Sandeep Narwal were failing to live up to the expectations.
With around five minutes remaining, Bengal raced to a 33-25 lead. But then, Ajinkya Kapre, a substitute for Mumbai, came up with a stunning 4-point raid to revive his team in a big way. Soon, an all-out was inflicted on Bengal to bring the scores to 35-33.
All that Mumbai now needed was Abhishek Singh, who had completed his super-10, to produce one more good raid and for their defence to hold tight. Alas, that didn't happen. Though the score became 35-35 with around two minutes remaining, Bengal regained the lead when Abhishek got tackled. The last raid was the last opportunity for Fazel's team but it wasn't to be their day.
The biggest example of this victory for Warriors being a team effort is the fact that no raider scored a super-10. Rinku Narwal's 4 points in defence proved very crucial.
In what will be a historic occurence, both teams in this year's PKL final will be making their first-time appearance. An exciting prospect indeed.