In front of a raucous home crowd, the Patna Pirates put on a defensive masterclass on Monday to beat the Gujarat Giants 32-20 and climb to fourth on the table in the Pro Kabaddi League.

On an evening when the Patna defense logged an incredible 15 tackle points, their defensive duo of Ankit (6 points) and Krishan (5 points) were the star performers of the day.

In the first match of the day, Haryana Steelers massively improved their chances of qualifying for the playoffs by sealing a clinical 41-36 win over Bengal Warriors. Shivam Patare (12 points) and Siddharth Desai (11 raid points) excelled for the winning team, while Bengal Warriors skipper Maninder Singh (13 raid points) was his side’s best player.

A low scoring game was defined by the staunch refusal of the Patna defence to go down by too many points despite being fewer in numbers for a majority of the game. Gujarat's raiders Parteek Dahiya and Nitin kept getting the touch points, but crucially were not able to do so in the key moments of the game.

Krishan and Ankit's ability to conjure super tackles when their team needed most astoundingly kept Patna close on points, despite having fewer players on the mat. They went into half-time trailing by a mere two points.

The second half continued in a similar pattern, Gujarat constantly keeping Patna's numbers low, but unable to get the all-out when needed. On an off-night for Fazel Atrachali, the Iranian did not log a single point all game, instead managing five unsuccessful tackles.

Patna turned the tables around in the final three minutes of the game. Sandeep Kumar started the Gujarat collapse going in on a do-or-die raid and coming back with three touch points. They inflicted the first and only all-out of the game to take a 30-19 lead with a minute left in the game, and rode that defensive dominance to victory.

Haryana beat Bengal

Neither side ceded the advantage in the early minutes as Bengal trailed 8-9 mid-way into the opening half. It was Haryana who finally managed to open up a lead as they rode on some sharp raiding performances from Vinay and Shivam to go ahead 16-12.

It was a golden chance for them to extend their lead as the opposition was down to just 1 man, but Maninder produced a massive super raid to pick up 3 crucial points. Shrikant Jadhav followed it up with a super tackle with a fiery dash on Shivam and Bengal turned the game around to lead 18-16 at half-time.

Haryana began the second half with just 3 men, but fought their way back through some sublime raiding from Siddharth. The raider caused all sorts of problems to the opposition defence as he bagged 4 points in as many raids to pave the way for an all-out. Within four minutes of the restart, Haryana had taken a 24-22 lead.

They did well to maintain their lead as Siddharth brought up his Super 10 with a classy multi-point raid and that was followed by a 2-pointer from Shivam. Haryana were unstoppable from then on as a flurry of tackles and clever raids saw them inflict a second all-out in the 33rd minute. The side from Haryana led by 8 points at 37-29 with 7 minutes to go.

Bengal made a late surge and Maninder did well to claim a Super 10 and reduce the opposition to 2 defenders, but it was too little too late as Haryana did the double over Bengal.