Bengaluru Bulls hammered Bengal Warriors 33-25 in the second match of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League. Ajay Thakur inspired the Bulls to a convincing victory and ensured last season’s semi-finalists started their campaign with a win.
Within 5 minutes, the Bulls were restricted to their defenders raiding as Dharmaraj Cheralathan was forced to go on the attack. The Warriors continued their brilliant start and got all of the Bengaluru players out to race to a 12-2 lead in no time. Dinesh Kumar and Nilesh Shinde, for the Warriors, absolutely rammed through the Bulls within the first 9 minutes.
However, the Bulls were a completely different prospect after the restart as they charged through and slowly chipped away at the Warriors’ lead before Ajay Thakur’s raid got the final two players of the team from the East out in the 15th minute. The Bulls finally got on level terms after Joginder Narwal’s body tackle on South Korean Jang Kun Lee in the 18th minute.
The final raid of the half resulted in the Bengal Warriors raider being caught by the Bulls’ defenders as the referee blew for half-time soon after. The scoreline read Bengaluru Bulls 15-16 Bengal Warriors as the players went for a much-needed break as the crowd were left wanting more after an exhilirating first half.
The Bulls continued where they had left off in the second half and continued accumulating points to take the lead at 19-16 after the 23rd minute. A minute later, the team from Karnataka got 2 extra points for getting all of the opposition players out.
Ajay Thakur’s agility was at full display at the NSCI Stadium in Mumbai as in the 28th minute he managed to get 4 Warriors’ defenders out with a single raid to increase Bulls’ lead to 9 points after a 13-4 run for the Manjeet Chhillar led team in the second half.
In the 31st minute Bulls’ Rajesh Mondal was involved in an altercation with Bengal Warriors’ Nilesh Shinde over a point. The raider argued that he got a touch, but Shinde was adamant he didn’t and the other players had to separate the two as Mondal was rightly awarded a green card by the referee.
With 4 minutes to go, the Randhir Singh coached Bengaluru Bulls were awarded 2 points after Warriors raider Lee claimed to have won a point, which the referee disagreed with, and captain Dinesh Kumar stepping out of the mat.
Bengal tried to reduce Bengaluru Bulls’ lead to 7 points, which would have ensured they got a point despite the loss. Ajay Thakur was caught by the two Warriors defenders in a super tackle to almost ensure the point. However, the Bulls’ defence stood resolute and captured the Warriors raider to condemn the Warriors to a duck.
Man of the match: Ajay Thakur