Star Sports Pro Kabaddi: How Patna Pirates turned the tables at home
The fourth leg of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi season 2 was hosted by Patna and the home team made the most of it. In front of a frantic home crowd, the Patna Pirates lifted themselves from last to fourth in the table. In what can be termed as the turning point of the tournament for the Pirates, last season’s 3rd-place team lost their opening match, but won the next two while drawing their final match to ensure they ended the first half of the league on a positive note.
The Pirates started their home leg against Telugu Titans, who had lost just 1 match this season, and the home team came up short. The Titans handed Patna a massive 22-34 loss in a match where Sukesh Hegde and Prashant Rai ran riot, scoring 9 and 8 points, respectively. The second youngest player in the league, Sandeep, was a rock at the back for the away team as he scored 6 tackle points. In comparison, the Pirates’ top scorers were Sandeep Narwal, Sunil Kumar and Girish Ernak, with a miniscule 4 points each.
The Bengaluru Bulls and the Titans were in action on the second day, but this time, the team from Hyderabad were destroyed by the Bulls. Helped by Manjeet Chhillar’s defensive output and Ajay Thakur’s raiding pedigree, the team from Bengaluru hammered the Deepak Nivas Hudda-led side 35-21. The Pirates got their second win of the tournament against an off-colour Dabang Delhi. Deepak Narwal was the star of the show as he amassed a massive 10 points against the team from the capital of the nation. Captain of the Dabangs, Ravinder Pahal, had an uncharacteristic bad performance as the defender returned with just 1 point as the Dabangs were handed a mammoth 39-22 loss.
Pirates and Warriors shared the spoils on the final day
The third day of the tournament saw the league leaders, U Mumba take on Dabang Delhi. The only team to have not tasted defeat at the hands of Anup Kumar’s men in this season were brushed aside 27-22 despite the best efforts of Ravinder Pahal who scored 9 points, which is the highest number of defensive points in Pro Kabaddi history. U Mumba were on the backfoot for the majority of the match before substitute Bhupender Singh turned it around for them scoring 7 points as U Mumba maintained their undefeated run.
Before the crowd could register what happened in the match, it was the turn of the home side to face another Maharashtrian team – Puneri Paltan. Pravin Niwale top-scored in the match with 9 points, but was unable to prevent a loss for his team as the Pirates put up a solid team effort to beat the Paltans 32-28 and reach the 4th spot in the table.
On the final day of the Patna leg, the Wazir-Singh led Pune registered another loss, this time at the hands of the defending champions – Jaipur Pink Panthers. Pravin Niwale was once again the lone fighter from the Paltans as he scored 9 points once again, but the Panthers supported each other well as they emerged victorious 35-29. Sonu Narwal and Rajesh Narwal scored 8 points each, while Jasvir Singh, with 6 points, supported them ably.
The final match of the leg was a cracker between Patna Pirates and Bengal Warriors. In a low-scoring affair, Pro Kabaddi witnessed its first draw in the second season as both teams ended the match at 20 each. In a rather defensive encounter, the home side were trailing for most of the match, but rallied at the end to nick the draw. It was in the final raid that they caught Bengal Warriors’ South Korean import, Jang Kun Lee to share the spoils. The match was a delight for the people who enjoy the technical aspects of the game as neither team gave the other space and this showed in the scorecard as substitute Gurvinder Singh was the top-scorer despite scoring just 5 points.
With a dazzling performance at home, Patna Pirates reached the 4th spot, while Puneri Paltan moved to the bottom. U Mumba continued to set the pace at the top while Telugu Titans and Bengaluru Bulls follow closely. The League now moves into the second half and the Pro Kabaddi base shifts to the home of the Titans – Hyderabad.