GIVING AN ALL ROUND DISPLAY, the Patna Pirates made the most of the opportunities that came their way to defeat Bengal Warriors 36-31 in a Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) encounter at the Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The Pirates are now the only unbeaten side in the third season of the PKL. The win takes them to the top with 25 points while Bengal Warriors with 21 points remain in second place.
Bengal Warriors were on the verge of getting full control of the match when they were leading 12-6 and with substitute Rajesh Mondal the lone man coming in to raid had to exercise caution to get the rivals all-out.
But Rajesh came up with a four-point super raid including a bonus. With three of their players revived, the Patna Pirates were given a huge lifeline. That was in the 15th minute. Even then the hosts managed to increase their lead from 12-10 to 15-10 when they comitted the second big blunder of the match.
This time the man who caused damage of four points was the tall Rohit Kumar. The teams trooped off for the break with Bengal Warriors leading 17-16.
In between, Bengal Warriors had two successful reviews. Those two referrals helped them get Rohit and Pardeep Narwal once each.
Having missed the all-out themselves, Bengal Warriors paid heavily after the break when they were wiped off and they fell into arrears at 17-21 in the 22nd minute. After that they trailed for the remainder of the match.
A second all-out put Bengal Warriors further behind at 31-23 in the 31st minute. The failure of Mahesh Goud led to the hosts' undoing. Nitin Tomar strove manfully and so did the Korean Jang Kun Lee with nine points each but the not so good showing of the otherwise reliable defence, the Bengal Warriors went down, but after a good fight.
Patna Pirates have to thank their stand in captain Sandeep Narwal who is leaving the squad to join the Indian team for the South Asian Games with teammate Rohit Kumar. In that context both served their team well to give an important win. It was quite evident that the decision of the Patna Pirates coach to withdraw Manpreet Singh proved beneficial. It turned the match gradually in their favour.
Sandeep and Rohit were in the thick of action on Tuesday. Rohit had a tally of 11 with 10 raid points and 1 tackle point. Sandeep had 6 tackle points with one super tackle. Pardeep Narwal was once again effective while contributing 7 raid points.