Women's Pro Kabaddi Challenge 2016 Results: Storm Queens vs Fire Birds Full Match Report, News & Updates
Storm Queens won the first-ever Women's Pro Kabaddi Challenge.
The Storm Queens made history by edging out the Fire Birds in a thrilling contest that swung both ways, before being settled by a two point raid at the death. Sakshi Kumari was pivotal in the final, but it was Tejaswini that stole her thunder with her final raid that decided the game by the skin of her teeth.
The first Women’s Kabaddi Challenge was witnessed by a packed stadium decorated by 5000 fans, young and old. The VIP stands had a smattering of Tollywood stars as well as Pullela Gopichand, the national coach of the badminton team.
History was being made inside the indoor stadium at Gachibowli when Mamatha Poojari made the first raid of the final between Storm Queens and Fire Birds. It took a do-or-die raid on either side to warm us the scoresheet.
Sakshi Kumari was irrepressible, getting the Fire Queens off to a four-point start. But the Fire Birds responded with a super tackle on the turn to keep the battle even in the early stages of the match. Midway through the first half, the two teams were tied at 5-5.
Mariya Monika averted an advanced tackle on a do-or-die raid to edge the Fire Birds in front by two points at 8-6. The match seemed to take its first real turn when the ladies in red nailed a tackle on Sakshi, who was instrumental in defining the fortunes of her team.
The teams went into the break with the Birds leading the Queens by two points 10-8, but enjoying greater strength on the mat. The stadium was filled to capacity enjoying the fare on offer with full-throated acknowledgement.
At 8-11 upon resumption, the Queens were down to three women. But they showed remarkable poise, even as the Birds made elementary errors to effect a super tackle to keep the game close. The Queens went ahead 12-11 when Mamatha made a half-hearted tackle from the inside right.
The balance shifted clearly when the Queens took a three-point lead, reducing the Birds to just two women on the mat. The first Lona of the night followed soon after when Tejaswini made a full bodied tackle to wipe the Birds off the mat.
Mamatha was off colour today and a failed raid tilted the game firmly in favour of the girls in yellow, who went into a time-out with a seven-point cushion at 19-12.
The Birds showed intent in grappling down Rasmita on an advanced tackle, inches short of the midline. But the situation turned nearly irretrievable when Payel Chowdhury, still hunting for her first raid point, fell victim on a do-or-die trip to Queens.
Rasmita was tackled a second straight time and Mamatha took Sakshi off the mat in a sudden blitz to reduce the deficit to 15-20. But Mamatha was tackled down on her next foray, leaving the Queens in front by seven again.
The Fire Queens made a real mess at the end when the match was all but won. Rinku made two super raids on the trot, claiming six points to narrow the deficit down to just two points. The Queens were all out with seconds left on the clock.
With Birds ahead 23-22, there was just enough ticks to afford the Queens one final raid. Tejaswini earned a tickle on the shirt before going on to claim the bonus point to bring the humdinger to a close.