Patna Pirates beat Bengal Warriors 69-41
Greater Noida: 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 VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match of the season in front of a packed audience at the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida on Sunday.
Pardeep Narwal’s 36-point display also helped him cross the 300-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 VIVO Pro Kabaddi record, were 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 the revived the Pardeep Narwal then inspired a 5-point raid with 6 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 playoff stages 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 wasn’t 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.