Pardeep Narwal was at his scintillating best for Patna Pirates as his 36-point performance helped the three-time champions thrash semi-final-bound Bengal Warriors 69-41 in their final Pro Kabaddi match of the season at Greater Noida on Sunday.
Pardeep Narwal’s 36-rampant performance at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex also helped him cross the 300-raid point mark for the season (302) as Patna equalled their own record of highest points scored in a match.
A total of 110 points, another Pro Kabaddi record, was scored in the free-flowing encounter between two sides who were playing with nothing to lose.
Despite starting with a much-changed seven, Bengal Warriors began the match on the front foot with the likes of Rakesh Narwal and Mohammad Taghi impressing in the raids.
The Pirates’ poor defending meant they were reduced to two men on the mat around the 10th minute but that is when the revival began for the three-time champions.
Vikas Jaglan and Neeraj Kumar produced two super tackles for the Pirates to spark a comeback and Pardeep Narwal then inspired a 5-point raid with six minutes remaining to half time to inflict an all-out on the Warriors and open up a 9-point lead.
Pardeep Narwal and the Pirates were playing the last match of the season having failed to qualify for the playoffs and they looked like a side keen to enjoy their final moments.
Pardeep picked up his Super 10 in the dying minutes of the half and ensured there was only one Bengal player left on the mat as the half ended with scores 27-17.
The second half started with Patna clinching an all-out in the first move. There was a brief period of dominance for the Bengal Warriors thanks largely to raiding prowess of Rakesh Narwal who clinched a Super 10.
But once again the Warriors failed to inflict an all-out, with Mohammad Maghsoudlou and Pardeep Narwal producing super tackles. The game’s tempo dropped as smiles started appearing at both the camps.
Patna were playing for pride while Bengal were just testing their B team as their top side got some rest before the crucial stages of the tournament.
Bengal did manage to secure an all-out with four minutes remaining but Pardeep Narwal then produced a massive 6-point Super Raid (equalling his previous best of 6 points against Haryana Steelers in season five) to inspire another all-out for Patna with under two minutes remaining.
Pardeep was not done as he crossed the 300-point mark for the season (first one to do in season seven) and inflict another all-out on the Warriors to clinch a big win.
UP Yoddha move up to fourth spot
UP Yoddha continued their impressive form as they edged Puneri Paltan 43-39 in a closely-fought encounter on Sunday.
The win lifted them to the fourth spot in the table with two more games left to play for the home side.
After a slow start, Surender Singh picked up a two-point raid to put UP Yoddha four points ahead of their opponents. That raid triggered a collapse for Puneri Paltan who succumbed to an all-out in the fourth minute to open up an 11-4 lead for the hosts.
The home side kicked on from there and riding on their in-form defence secured another all-out in the dying minutes of the first half to open up a 12-point lead.
At the break, UP sat comfortably with the scoreline reading 29-14 in their favour.
However, Puneri Paltan, playing their last game of the season, came out a different outfit. Their defence began dominating the UP raiders as Manjeet chipped away with points in his raids. The tall all-rounder them inflicted the first all-out on UP Yoddha as Puneri Paltan got back into the game trimming UP’s lead to just six points.
The all-out served as a wake-up call for UP Yoddha who got their act together led by their skipper Nitesh Kumar who completed his High 5.
His opposite number Surjeet Singh then rose to the occasion to put in a super tackle on Monu Goyat to make it a scoreline of 33-31 in UP’s favour.
Pune then levelled the contest at 36-36 with three minutes left to play, but two-point raids from Rishank Devadiga and Ankush Singh tilted the game back in the home side’s favour who held their nerves to close the encounter.