Dominant Bengaluru Bulls cruise past Tamil Thalaivas 32-21
Bengaluru Bulls ended their 2-game losing streak on high when they defeated the home side, Tamil Thalaivas in the opening match of the Chennai leg at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. Bulls' lead Raider Pawan Sehrawat was in fine form yet again as he and Left Corner Saurabh Nandal put in brilliant performances on the night to help Bulls cruise past Thalaivas, recording a victory by a margin of 11 points.
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Pawan Sehrawat started by securing a bonus point in his opening Raid, followed by a couple of empty raids by Tamil Thalaivas' Rahul Chaudhari and captain Ajay Thakur. Bulls' defense kept shape and form, downing the Thalaivas' Raiders and racking up the crucial points as Pawan wreaked havoc on the opposition's defense, racing to a score of 7-0. Pawan Sehrawat's blitz-like Raiding in tandem with Bulls' cohesive defensive display pushed Thalaivas on the brink of an unexpected, early All Out.
Playing in his 100th Vivo Pro Kabaddi match, Manjeet Chhillar stepped into Raid and was brought down by a strong Bengaluru Bulls' defense, inflicting an All-out under first 7 minutes of the match. Manjeet managed to get the bonus point, as the scoreboard read 10-1 with Bulls leading.
Post the All Out, Tamil Thalaivas' captain, Ajay Thakur began with an empty raid that marked his 1600th Raid attempt in Vivo Pro Kabaddi's history. Following that, the home side stabilized relatively well as Rahul Chaudhari dismissed Bengaluru Bulls' captain Rohit Kumar with a fast Running Hand Touch, Shabeer Bapu too chipped in with a 2-point Raid as Thalaivas seemed to plot a steady comeback. But Rohit Kumar's Successful Do or Die Raid, followed by Ankit's Tackle on Thalaivas' captain Ajay Thakur and Pawan Kumar's quick single-point Raid roped in 3 points on the trot for Bulls which restored their lead by eight points, at 16-8. Soon after, Thalaivas' notched up a couple of points and Bulls' just a single one, as both the sides headed into Half Time with the home team trailing the visitors at 17-10.
Tamil Thalaivas' V. Ajith Kumar started the proceedings in the Second Half with an empty Raid, but soon dismissed Bengaluru Bulls' main man Pawan Sehrawat after empty Raids from each team. Soon after 5 edgy minutes, V. Ajith Kumar struck again with a touch point and Ran Singh downed Bulls' captain Rohit Kumar in his Do or Die Raid. This reduced Bull's lead down to 4 points. This 4-point deficit was further halved down when Thalaivas' captain Ajay Thakur ousted Pawan Sehrawat with a smooth flick of a kick followed by Mohit Chhillar's Tackle on Banty.
Bengaluru Bulls extended their lead by 6 points when Ajay Thakur was brought down by Saurabh Nandal in a Super Tackle, which was followed by a 2-point Do or Die Raid by Ankit that dismissed Mohit Chhillar and Ajeet. In the 15th minute, V. Ajith Kumar stepped into a Do or Die Raid which was rendered unsuccessful on account of some efficient Tackling by Saurabh Nandal, leaving Thalaivas with just 3 men on the mat. Nandal reached his career's 2nd High 5 with that Tackle. Lethal towards the end of Second Half, Pawan Sehrawat dismissed Manjeet Chhillar followed by a touch point on Shabeer Bapu that saw him notch up another Super 10. Ran Singh found himself stepping out of play as Bulls' registered a 2nd All Out on the home side, Thalaivas.
Pawan Sehrawat's blitz-like raiding in tandem with Bulls' cohesive defensive display pushed Thalaivas on the brink of an unexpected, early All Out
Over the course of the final 3 minutes of the match, both sides registered a couple of points to their respective scores as the visitors, Bengaluru Bulls won the match by 11 Points, at 32-21. This win saw Bengaluru Bulls avoid a third successive defeat, cruising past the home side, Tamil Thalaivas in the Southern Derby.
Match Preview: Head to Head, Tamil Thalaivas vs Bengaluru Bulls
Home team, Tamil Thalaivas will go head to head against defending champions Bengaluru Bulls at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. In what will be the inaugural match of the Chennai leg of Vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 7, both sides will be going strong for the win.
Tamil Thalaivas enter this fixture on the back of a comfortable 36-28 victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants, meanwhile, Bengaluru Bulls have faced serial defeats against UP Yoddha and Haryana Steelers and will be raring to get back to winning ways.
The raiding department has been on fire for Bengaluru Bulls with lead-raider, Pawan Sehrawat amassing 87 Raid Points so far storming down the opposition's defense lines. Pawan is partnered by the captain, Rohit Kumar who has had a relatively quiet season so far. The Bulls' defense is shielded by the trio of - Mahender Singh, Amit Sheoran and Saurabh Nandal. Spearheading Bulls' defense with 22 Tackle Points so far, Mahender Singh and the company will have a big task at their hands as they would be looking to contain Tamil Thalaivas' Ajay Thakur and Rahul Chaudhari.
Bossing a combined total of 55 Successful Raids this season, Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur have delivered the crucial Raid Points when asked. Also, Rahul has surpassed 900 Raids in Vivo Pro Kabaddi history. Leading the defense, Manjeet Chhillar (26 Tackle Points) - scorer of more than 300 Tackle Points in the league's history - has manned Thalaivas' defense efficiently so far along with Mohit Chhillar (17 Tackle Points) and Ran Singh (11 Tackle Points). This efficient defensive unit led by the experienced Manjeet will be put to test against this season's most lethal Raider so far, Bulls' Pawan Sehrawat who has recorded a minimum of 10 Successful Raids in every match played so far.
The 'Southern Derby' will be packing a cracking climax to the match, given both sides' Raiding Performances at the death. The focus remains on Tamil Thalaivas as they would surely be looking to start the Chennai leg, treating the home support with a win over the defending champions, Bengaluru Bulls.