Defending champions Bengal Warriors defeated Tamil Thalaivas 37-28 in the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Thursday.
Captain Maninder Singh got 12 points while defenders Amit Narwal and Ran Singh controlled the defence for the Warriors against the formidable side Tamil Thalaivas.
The victory helped Bengal halt their losing streak while ending Thalaivas' unbeaten run. The Tamil attacked blunt with Manjeet, not his usual best and Ajinkya Pawar used sparingly. Bengal and coach BC Ramesh will be happy they clinched a win despite a lukewarm performance from their Irani duo of Mohammad Nabibakhsh and AbozarMighani.
The Thalaivas started on the front foot with their defensive combination of Surjeet and Sagartackling Maninder Singh. That set the tone for the initial minutes with Manjeet raiding sensibly at the other end. But Amit Narwal produced a stunning Super Tackle in the 5th minute to change the balance of power.
The defending champions built on the momentum and quickly reduced the Thalaivas men on the mat. Surjeet produced two Super Tackles to pick up his High 5 but Bengal eventually got their ALL OUT with 7 minutes to the interval. The Thaliavas kept looking at the more proactive side despite trailing and introduced super-sub Ajinkya Pawar to add more fire in the raiding department. The half ended 20-16 in favour of Bengal.
The first 10 minutes of the second half was a cagey affair with both teams playing it safe. Thalaivas couldn't conjure their usual magic in the defence while Manjeet found it tough in the raids. Bengal maintained a 6-point lead at the first Time Out but it felt only a matter of time before either team tried something ambitious.
Ran Singh, returning to the mat after a long injury layoff, produced a stunning tackle in the left corner for Bengal to spark an ALL OUT. Bengal opened an 11-point lead with 7 minutes remaining as Amit Narwal reached his High 5. The defending champions ensured there were no slip ups in the dying minutes to win the match comfortably.