Patna rally to edge Bengaluru in thriller

Patna rally to edge Bengaluru in thriller

Hosts stay in semifinal race despite defeat

Patna rally to edge Bengaluru in thriller

Patna Pirates pulled off a thrilling heist over Bengaluru Bulls in the Pro Kabaddi League here at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Monday, sealing a semifinal spot in the process.

Trailing their hosts for 30 minutes, Patna’s skipper Rakesh Kumar took out three antis to give them a 27-26 lead with seven minutes remaining in the game, which then swung like the pendulum.
Bulls, who will have gone to third place with a win on the night, struggled to come to terms with the setback and eventually lost 33-31.

The hosts remain on fifth place, with 37 points from 12 games, while Patna, who moved up a spot to third, closed out their league obligations with 45 points.

But the Bulls do have fate in their own hands and will qualify for the semifinals if they win their remaining two games -- against Telugu Titans (fourth place, 41 points) on Tuesday and Jaipur Pink Panthers (first place, 53 points) on Wednesday.

The match against Patna went neck and neck for most of the first-half before the Bulls opened up an 18-13 advantage at the break.

Ajay Thakur was having one of their quieter days on court but Suresh Kumar kept them in the contest with some brilliant raids.

Patna’s Ram Kumar brought them back into the game with two outs to bring down the deficit 24-22 before they struck gold with a lona which swelled their lead to 30-27.

But the definitive moment of the game was Rakesh’s star act with seven minutes left on the clock that powered Patna to a fine victory.

Delhi demolish Pune

In the first match on Monday, Puneri Paltan showed why exactly they were stuck at the foot of the table in a lackadaisical display against Dabang Delhi.

Delhi, playing their last match of the competition and with no hope of qualifying for the semifinals, were at their best as they beat Pune 45-22.

The quick-starting Delhi outfit, who finished their campaign on sixth place with 32 points, didn’t even lose a point till after their first lona of the encounter.

Kashiling Adake, who became only the sixth raider to cross 100 raid points in the league, was again all over the Pune antis like a rash.

While the bottom-placed team did offer some resistance at the end of the first-half, which finished 20-10, they looked like a team who knew their bacon was fried long before the match was over.
To rub salt into the Pune wounds, their captain Wazir Singh was yellow carded 10 minutes into the second-half which earned him two minutes in the sin bin.

Their last match is against U Mumba at the same venue on Wednesday.

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