Bengaluru, Jan 20 (IANS) Defending champions Bengal Warriors beat Bengaluru Bulls 40-39 in Match 67 of Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, here on Thursday.
The Bulls dominated most parts of the match with captain Pawan Sehrawat scoring a Super 10 but an 8-point raid by Bengal, thanks to defenders following the raider into the lobby without a touch, helped the Warriors shift the balance of play and eventually clinch the match. Bengal’s Maninder Singh scored 9 points, but they will have to thank their lucky stars for enabling a strange yet exciting comeback win.
The teams matched each other blow for blow in an intense first half that saw star raiders Maninder Singh and Pawan Sehrawat spend a lot of time in the dugout. Both defences were in the groove with all 4 in the Bengal team scoring points in the half. At the other end, Bulls’ Saurabh Nandal and Mahender Singh ensured there were no easy points in the offering for the Warriors. The teams failed to inflict an ALL OUT in the first half that finished 14-13 with Bengal in the lead.
Bengal couldn’t contain ‘High Flyer’ Pawan Sehrawat as he went berserk in the early minutes of the first half. He helped the Bulls clinch an ALL OUT in the 4th minute to open a 3-point lead. The raider continued his good work as he got his Super 10 and reduced Bengal to just 1 man on the mat.
The Bulls thought they secured their second ALL OUT when Mohammad Nabibakhsh was tackled by the entire team. Unfortunately for them, the Iranian had entered the lobby without a touch, thereby making everyone who followed him out-of-bounds. The move resulted in a massive change of momentum as Bengal got 7 points plus 1 for the bonus. Chandran Ranjit was the only raider remaining and Abozar Mighani tackled him in the 10th minute to give Bengal an ALL OUT and open a 3-point lead.
Maninder Singh picked up crucial bonus points to ensure Bengal maintained a sizeable lead as the game entered the final minutes. The Bengal defenders kept calm and managed the time perfectly to ensure they won the match by a solitary point. The result helped Bengal jump to fourth in the points table.