Kolkata, Aug 1: Patna Pirates bounced back in the second half to edge past Telugu Titans 38-35 and register their first victory in the Pro Kabaddi at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here today. ‘Best Raider’ Ravi Dalal was the chief architect in Patna Pirates’ resounding victory with 14 raid points and he also won the ‘Best Moment’ and received fine support from Rakesh Kumar with seven points.
In search of their maiden victory, the Visakhapatnam franchise however began solidly, taking a four-point lead of 23-19 at the half-time. But Dalal turned it around for Patna with a successful raid in the 33rd minute as they scraped past Visakhapatnam to snatch the lead 33-31.
In the closing quarter Telugu Titans lost both the mental and physical battle as Patna Pirates dished out a superlative performance both in raids and defence. Pakistani defender Wasim Sajjad who made his debut for Patna Pirates was adjudged the Best Defender.
Patna Pirates now have six points from two matches, while Telugu Titans logged one point to be on four points after three outings. Meanwhile, Bengal Warriors found the going tough after a flying start to scrape past a fighting Puneri Paltan 38-35 in the second match at the Netaji Indoor Stadium.
Riding on a spectacular show by Lee and Goud Bengal cruised to a 10-0 and then 14-1 lead by seven minutes for a dream start to their third home match. The Korean recruit Lee showed exceptional anticipation skill and combined with his spring-like agility it was a treat to watch the Bengal side in the first-half.
Bengal went all-out in just the fourth minute for a 10-0 lead as Pune literally sweated to open their tally through Wazir Singh. But the Pune outfit gradually found their feet on the mat to reduce the deficit to six points (20-14) at the end of first period.
Pune showed tremendous resilience through their top raider Mahipal Narwal (10) and Wazir Singh (9) to make the going tough for the local outfit as they snatched a 28-29 lead in the 32nd minute. Bengal continued to attack through their Korean recruit Lee, their over reliance was exposed when Lee was successfully caught by an all-out Puneri Paltan to take a two-point lead.
Just when it seemed to go out of their hand, Bengal Warriors coach Rajnarain Sharma played a masterstroke by bringing in Sunil Jaipal in place of their skipper Mahesh Goud that turned the match around.
Jaipal raided with excellence and combined well with Lee to hand Pune a third straight loss as Bengal Warriors with 10 points jumped to third place behind leaders U Mumba (18) and Bengaluru Bulls (15).
Lee was adjudged Best Raider for the second consecutive day, while Puneri Paltan’s Manoj Kumar was Best Defender and Mahipal Narwal won the Best Moment of the day.