PKL 2019: Top 5 moments from the Kolkata leg
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose stadium in Kolkata witnessed an epic week that saw dominant victories, hard fought ties and some very close contests. The eventful week also produced some big moments, few of which also created history in the Pro Kabaddi 2019.
From Pardeep Narwal's heroic efforts to Naveen Kumar's unreal stats, this week had lots to offer. Deepak Niwas Hooda, who is one of the best all-rounders to have played the game, returned back to form at the right time and by doing so, fetched himself a much deserved feat.
It was not just the individual brilliance, but also some very well co-ordinated team efforts, especially from the home team Bengal Warriors, that added to this leg's beauty.
Bengal were challenged on several occasions by some very strong teams but they managed to win or at least secure a draw. Their raiders showed immense belief to pull off some stunning raids that brought them back into the game. Even their defenders showed their worth when they successfully tackled Bengaluru's Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar in the final minute of the contest to secure an incredible win in their last match.
Here are the top 5 moments from the Kolkata leg:
#5 Naveen Kumar extends his PKL record
Dabang Delhi’s star sensation Naveen Kumar has turned out to be PKL’s very precious gift to modern Indian Kabaddi. His accuracy levels combined with some nimble footwork have made him a big hit in this tournament.
Naveen currently holds the record for most consecutive Super 10s scored in Pro Kabaddi. In match 80, he put up his best performance this season, scoring a whopping 17 points against Telugu Titans. By doing so, he extended his current record tally to 12 matches.
Naveen Kumar has only two seasons of PKL experience in his kitty but he has performed like a veteran raider. He hasn't shied away from playing his natural game and has been very impressive against quality defenders.
Delhi’s Naveen Express has been one of the main reasons for their glorious season so far, and he could well hand his team their maiden Pro Kabaddi title this season.
#4 Bengal’s stunning comeback victory
When Bengal faced Puneri Paltan in the 81st match of the season, the fans were left devoid of any nails to chew. At half time the two sides were separated by just one point with the score reading 21-20 in Bengal’s favour.
But by the end of 39 minutes, Pune managed to earn a decent lead of 4 points over the Warriors with the score reading 35-39. Then came Bengal’s Esmaeil Nabibaksh in a 1 vs 3 situation. He was tackled but his brilliant escape skills ensured that he swiped away all the 3 defenders which gave Bengal a 5 point (3+2) super raid.
This moment truly turned the match on its head as Bengal went on to clinch a memorable win.
#3 Deepak Niwas Hooda scores his 800th PKL career point
Match number 84 saw Haryana Steelers taking on Jaipur Pink Panthers. Although the match ended in a tie, it produced a moment that Deepak Hooda will cherish in the coming time.
Deepak got the better of Haryana’s Dharmaraj Cheralathan and completed his Super 10. But that also ended up being his 800th career point in PKL. Deepak is currently the 3rd most successful raider in the 7 seasons of Pro Kabaddi. Deepak looked a bit lacklustre in the previous few matches and this record could make him believe again in the fact that he still possesses the ability to run away with matches.
The feat truly shows his hard work over the 7 seasons and his consistent performance will surely inspire the young players watching.
#2 Maninder Singh keeps Bengal’s home record intact
The best raiders of this season were in action when Bengal Warriors took on Bengaluru Bulls in match no. 88 in Kolkata.
The match was heavily dominated by raiders and the score stood at 35-36 in the penultimate minute. Maninder Singh then went into his all important raid having already picked up 14 points. But the events that followed handed Bengal a victory from the jaws of defeat. Maninder scored a super raid (3 points) that gave Bengal a crucial 2 point lead.
Their defenders held on as Bengal went on to beat Bengaluru, keeping their unbeaten home record intact.
#1 Pardeep Narwal makes his way into PKL history books
Patna Pirates were up against Tamil Thalaivas in a big game for both these sides. Patna’s hopes rested on Pardeep’s shoulders and he delivered yet again.
In the 15th minute, Pro Kabaddi produced one of it’s greatest moments when Pardeep Narwal completed his 1000th PKL career point. The crowd went berserk and Pardeep took his own sweet time to soak in the applause.
Patna's season so far hasn't been very smooth and a player of Pardeep's class has surely been let down by his teammates. The fact that he keeps producing such stupendous feats one after the other in spite of not receiving enough support from others, makes him a modern-day great of the sport.
It was a moment for the ages as Pardeep became the first player in PKL history to achieve this massive feat. This moment surely made the Kolkata leg a memorable one and proved why Pardeep is the No.1 raider in the league.
Published 15 Sep 2019, 12:17 IST