New Delhi: Bengal Warriors produced a clinical performance to defeat the experienced Tamil Thalaivas 35-26 in a Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 match on Thursday in front of a fully packed audience at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in New Delhi.
K Parapanjan’s Super 10 (10 raid points) amply supported by Maninder Singh’s nine raid points was the difference for the Bengal side who moved to second on the points table.
Experienced all-rounder Manjeet Chhillar returned to Thalaivas’ line-up as coach E Bhaskaran made a few changes to bring more stability into the side. Shabeer Bapu was added in the starting seven to share the raiding responsibilities with Arjuna award recipient Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari.
The Thalaivas, in their distinctly yellow jerseys, started the match on a bright note, with Ajay Thakur impressing in his raids and the defence not allowing Bengal raider Maninder Singh to settle into the match. But K Prapanjan had other plans and his multiple two-point raids helped Bengal reduce the Tamil men on the mat to finally inflict an All-Out in the 11th minute.
But the experienced Thalaivas did not give up and immediately got back into the match thanks largely to Ajay Thakur who picked up 8 points in a first half that ended 15-14 in favour of the Bengal side.
The second half began with only three men remaining on the mat for Bengal but Sukesh Hegde produced a smart raid, taking out the dangerous Manjeet Chhillar in the process, to start a revival for the Warriors. Thalaivas went on the rue the lost opportunity, despite a three-point super raid by Anand with eight minutes left in the clock reducing Warriors’ lead margin to three points. The experienced athletes made silly errors, especially in defence, to let Bengal inflict another All-Out with just four minutes left in the match.
The Bengal defence held firm in the final minutes to see out the victory but questions will be asked about the Thalaivas’ performance who are failing to perform despite having a star-studded squad. Ajay Thakur’s Super 10 mattered very little as Bengal proved to the better side in all departments.