Bengaluru Bulls pulled off a magical, last-gasp 35-33 win over champions Patna Pirates, while Dabang Delhi stunned home favourites U Mumba 40-34 in their respective 2023-24 Pro Kabaddi League matches on Monday.

Veteran defender Surjeet Singh shone with eight tackle points in the evening for Bengaluru Bulls as they went past the three-time champions.

The Bulls’ ace raider Bharat was not part of the squad and the side felt his absence from the very start. The defence, led by captain Saurabh Nandal and Surjeet, was in top form but the raiders were unable to score points.

On the other side of the mat, it was Patna Pirates’ three-man raiding unit that helped them bag the first all out in the 14th minute and lead 16-8.

Both teams were neck and neck for the initial phase of play, but the lack of an in-form raider hurt the Bengaluru Bulls. Patna Pirates ended the half leading 20-12, with nine tackle points and as many raid points. Bengaluru Bulls, on the other hand, managed only three raid points.

The Bulls brought on two raiders from the bench - Sushil and Rakshith - in a bid to up their game, but neither were able to make an impact.

Neeraj’s double ankle hold on Vikash Kandola in the 27th minute saw Patna Pirates’ lead increase to ten points at 24-14.

Sachin Narwal was the lone raiding hope for Bengaluru Bulls and he got a couple of quick points and Surjeet’s high five reduced their deficit, but that was before Patna Pirates’ star raider Sachin Tanwar produced a massive super raid to get three points.

The momentum swung immediately as Bengaluru Bulls fought back with a couple of super tackles from Surjeet and Ran Singh.

With a little over three minutes left, Bengaluru Bulls trailed by eight points at 33-25. Their gamble of bringing on Sushil paid off in the dying stages as he scalped a mindblowing two-point raid to leave Patna Pirates with lone man standing on the mat.

Surjeet stepped up to the occasion and executed a superb tackle on Sandeep Kumar to inflict the all out. With that, Bengaluru Bulls got three points, opened up a two-point lead to seal a comeback win for ages.

Dabang Delhi stun U Mumba

Later, led by Ashu Malik’s 13-point heroics Dabang Delhi KC stunned home team U Mumba 40-34.

They rode on a blistering first half performance by Malik, who grabbed eight raid points in the first period and was tackled only once by the Mumba defence. They inflicted the first all out of the game to take a 13-8 lead.

But as they succeeded on the raid, so did U Mumba, with both defences rendered ineffective in the half and restricted to a mere seven points.

While Dabang Delhi’s raiding was almost a one man effort, U Mumba spread their 15 raid points among Amirmohammad Zafardanesh, Guman Singh and Jai Bhagwan. By the end of the half, despite trailing by two points they had reduced the Delhi Dabang KC team to two men on the mat.

Despite some solid raiding under pressure by Delhi Dabang, it didn’t take U Mumba too long in the second half to inflict an all out of their own and claw back in the game. There was a one point difference between the two teams as the contest headed into the final quarter.

Malik then capitalised on a series of do or die raids to reduce the U Mumba numbers and then almost single handedly inflicted a second all out to take a 36-31 lead with three minutes to play.

A series of razor thin decisions went in favour of a brilliant Delhi Dabang defence in the dying moments of the game as they closed out a hugely important victory to climb to the second spot in the points table.