The inaugural edition of the Indo International Premier Kabaddi League (IIPKL) came to a thrilling close as the Bangalore Rhinos clinched a nail-biting 42-38 win over the Pune Pride to emerge as the first ever champions of the league.
The first season saw a number of exciting performances as new stars, namely Amarjeeth Singh and Jitender Yadav emerged as the best debutants from the tournament. Former Pro Kabaddi stars namely Sunil Jaipal and Vikash Khatri proved their worth as experienced players from the past.
Bangalore Rhinos received immense support from the home crowd as they scripted a comeback in the second half with consistent performances by Arumugam and Vishal that ensured that they held an upper hand towards the end of the summit clash.
Vishal scored 11 raid points in the final that led the Rhinos to the title as Vipin Malik lifted the prestigious IIPKL trophy at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. Chennai Challengers led by Sunil K Kumar stood in third place as they beat Sunil Jaipal's Diler Delhi (37-36) in the third-place match.
At the end of an exciting season of the IIPKL, let us have a look at the best playing seven of the tournament:
Right Corner: Sandeep Kharb (Pune Pride)
Sandeep Kharb, who was a part of Patna Pirates in the starting seasons of Pro Kabaddi performed well with Pune Pride in the inaugural season of IIPKL. This right corner defender scored 41 tackle points in 12 matches at an average of 3.41 tackle points. He was a force to reckon with his brilliant ankle holds and back holds as he performed consistently and supported Jitender Yadav in the left corner.
Left Corner: Jitender Yadav (Pune Pride)
Jithender Yadav had the one of the memorable debut in the IIPKL as a left corner defender of Pune Pride. He played consistently and took the defensive charge on his own. He scored 53 tackle points in 12 matches with an avreage of 4.42 tackle points. This ankle hold specialist was awarded as the best defender of the tournament for his efforts.