Bengaluru bulldoze Warriors

Dominant victory helps hosts stays in contention for a semifinal spot

Bengaluru bulldoze Warriors

An utterly dominant Bengaluru Bulls scored a comfortable 37-24 win over Bengal Warriors in the first match of the Bangalore leg of the Pro Kabaddi League here at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Sunday.

The victory enabled the hosts, who stay in fifth place with 36 points from 11 games, to remain in contention for a semifinal place. They next face Patna Pirates, who are fourth in the table with 40 points from 13 matches, on Monday where a win will see them reach the top four.

Even though the Warriors, who were out of reckoning for a place in the semis coming into the match, led the Bulls 11-10 during the half-way stage of the first half, they had no answers to the Bulls' superior raiding skills.

The league, which had captured the imagination of the public right across the country, moved to the city on Sunday and the crowd were in good voice through out the encounter.

While Bulls' coach Randhir Singh had said Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chillar, their key players, were doubtful starters due to illness and injury respectively, both of them started and left their footprints on the game. Thakur, who was laid low because of fever, was adjudged the star raider of the match. Chillar, the home skipper, was adjedged the best defender of the encounter.

The quick starting Bulls outfit raced into a 3-0 lead before Warriors fought back to level the scores. The hosts again pressed the foot on the accelerator to jump to a 7-3 lead as Ajay eliminated two players - his first of many effective raids on the night.

Warriors, playing their last game, rallied back to cut the deficit to 14-12 at half-time but the Bulls upped the ante as their raiders led by Thakur (6 points) and Chillar (4 points) operated at a different level in the second stanza to take their side to a big win.

Speaking after the game, Thakur was thrilled with the home fans turning out in numbers. “The atmosphere was fantastic,” he said. “It is the best turnout I have seen in the league thus far.”

U Mumba in semis

In the second match, U Mumba edged past Dabang Delhi 37-30 to become the second team to qualify for the semifinals. Table-topper, Jaipur Pink Panthers, have already reached the knockout stages.

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