Patna Pirates edge out Tamil Thalaivas in a low scoring thriller to register back to back wins
Day 9 of Vivo PKL 2019 witnessed The Record breaker Pardeep Narwal of Patna Pirates going head to head against the star raiding duo of Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari of Tamil Thalaivas at the Dome, at NSCI in Mumbai.
Watch How Patna Pirates won against Tamil Thalaivas - 5 Reasons why
All eyes were on Pardeep Narwal who was 25 raid points away from scoring a record breaking 900 PKL raid points. But, in a match billed as the battle of the raiding superstars, it was the defensive units of both the Tamil Thalaivas and the 3 time champions, Patna Pirates that made the headlines with compact, structured and patient defending through every minute of the encounter. The Tamil Thalaivas duo of Rahul and Ajay have over 1600 raid points between them while the Patna duo of Pardeep and Jang Kun Lee carried over 1200 raid points into the match. But, the numbers meant absolutely nothing once the low scoring thriller got underway as Manjeet Chhillar made his intentions clear in the beginning of first half, tackling Pardeep Narwal and Jang Kun Lee in two back to back raids. A super tackle from Jaideep and 2 points from Mohammad Maghsoudlou then ensured that Patna kept within reach of the Tamil Thalaivas. Pardeep Narwal was kept quiet by defense of Thalaivas in the first half and went without scoring a single raid point in the entire half, while Rahul & Ajay had their fair share of struggles too.
Super-sub, Monu (who was added to the squad as a late replacement for Surender Nada), then took charge of bringing Patna back into the game with 2 vital points in the dying minutes of the first half to save Patna from succumbing to an All-Out as well.
The struggle was eminent for all top raiders in the first half with scores levelled at 11 a piece. The defence of both teams dominated the first half completely leaving absolutely no breathing space for the raiders.
Pardeep Narwal was tackled in the first raid of second half by Thalaivas’ Mohit Chhillar on the right corner, while Jaideep, on the opposite corner for the Pirates continued to pile on the tackles with timely ankle holds and completed another fine High 5 with incredible resilience.
Pardeep Narwal finally got his first point of the match in the 38th minute sending Manjeet Chhillar to the bench at an important time in the match. The consistency of the defence for Patna continued and even forced an Ajay Thakur error, stepping into the lobby on his own and giving the Pirates a much needed 4 point cushion in a tight game that hinged on the Do Or Die raid sequence, with just one and a half minutes to go.
In the final minute, Rahul Chaudhari made an unforced error too, before Pardeep Narwal was super tackled as the clock ran down, handing the Patna Pirates a narrow win at 24 - 23, taking them to 3rd on the points table after 3 matches. It wasn’t a night to remember for the raiders but Rahul Chaudhari completed 900 raids making history in the Pro Kabaddi League, while “The Iceman” Ajay Thakur, reached the massive milestone of 600 raid points in his PKL career.
Match Preview: Battle of Raiders Ajay-Rahul vs Pardeep
Top raiders of PKL Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari will go head to head against the Record maker Pardeep Narwal. Manjeet Chhillar tackling Pardeep Narwal will be an interesting contest to watch out for.
Neeraj Kumar in left cover for Patna could cause trouble for the star raiding duo of Ajay-Rahul for Tamil Thalaivas.