Pardeep Narwal became the first player to cross 1000 raid points in Pro Kabaddi League history as his 26 points on the night helped Patna Pirates side thrash Tamil Thalaivas 51-25 at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Monday.
Narwal’s 26 points exposed the problems in the Tamil Thalaivas side who looked clueless, especially in defence, against a bottom-placed Patna unit. Ajith Kumar, with a Super 10, was the only positive for the Thalaivas in what was otherwise a horrible day on the mat for the star-studded team.
Not so surprisingly, the first half was all about the raiders as they ran riots against two of the poorest defences this season. Newly appointed coach Udaya Kumar had claimed his Thalaivas side were only playing for individual glory and that was once again visible as a disjointed unit failed to perform on the mat.
Rahul Chaudhari once again struggled to impress in his raids, despite going against the poor defence of Patna, leading to more questions as to why Ajith Kumar has not yet been handed over the lead raider duties.
Patna inflicted the first all-out on Thalaivas in the 8th minute of the half even though Ajith Kumar had managed to expose some chinks in their armour as well. With both the defences looking shaky (Thalaivas went in the match with an average of 20 unsuccessful tackles per match in their last four encounters), the match looked like it would become a battle between Pardeep and Ajith.
Pardeep cruised to the milestone of 1000 raid points in the fifteenth minute of the match but Thalaivas gained some momentum towards to final stages of the first half with Vineet Sharma pulling off a few tackles. The first half ended with Patna leading Thalaivas 18-13.
The second half was no different as Pardeep made the mat his home. The star raider was the chief orchestrator of Patna’s attacks as the side inflicted all-outs on the fifth, ninth, and fifteenth minutes of the second half to take the game away from a hapless Thalaivas team.
Patna remained on the bottom of the table despite the comfortable win but will take positives from the match that also saw their star defender Jaideep finish with a High 5 (7 tackle points).
Yoddha rise into qualification spots
UP Yoddha produced an all-round performance to defeat last season’s runners-up Gujarat Fortunegiants 33-26 for their fourth successive win in the earlier game on Monday.
UP’s defensive pair of Nitesh Kumar (4 tackle points) and Sumit (High Five with five tackle points) were in red-hot form once again, aptly supported by the raiding duo of Shrikanth Jadhav and Surender Gill (both with 6 raid points).
With his result, UP have jumped to the fifth spot in the table with 42 points from 14 matches.
Sachin’s return to the squad has been a vital factor in Gujarat’s improved form in the recent matches and the raider was once again influential as he secured to a two-point raid in the sixth minute to give Gujarat a slender lead.
But Jadhav immediately restored parity with a two-point raid for the Yoddha as both sides continued to trade blows.
With Monu Goyat still recovering from an injury, UP’s raiding duties had fallen on the shoulders of Jadhav and Gill, something they had so far managed to do with ease.
The latter was the difference-maker for Yoddha in the second half as he pulled off a series of successful raids to enforce an all-out on Gujarat in the final minute of the first half to open up a 7-point lead (16-9).
But the Gujarat side were in no mood to give up, and Sachin sparked a comeback with a four-point super raid (in the seventh minute) as Gujarat reduced the margins and forced an all-out with eight minutes left in the match.
UP’s defence was in no mood for another slip-up though, and the duo of Nitesh and Sumit steadied their ship to clinch their fourth consecutive win.
With Kolkata leg rearranged, there will be no rest day on Tuesday as Telugu Titans will take on U Mumba.
|RANK||TEAM||MATCHES PLAYED||WON||LOST||DRAW||Score Difference||POINTS|
|1||DABANG DELHI K.C||14||11||2||1||56||59|
|6||JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS||13||7||6||0||3||38|