Tamil Thalaivas is making it a habit. The PO Surjeet Singh-led team played out its fourth tie in seven Pro Kabaddi League 2021-22 matches as it split the points with Patna Pirates following a 30-30 scoreline in Bengaluru on Thursday.
Thalaivas had previously shared the spoils with Telugu Titans, U Mumba and Dabang Delhi in the first two weeks of PKL Season 8. By virtue of the result on Thursday, the southern outfit extended its unbeaten run in the 12-team event to five matches.
It was a creditable performance from the Tamil Nadu franchise, keeping in mind the absence of lead raiders Manjeet and K Prapanjan, who were named on the bench by head coach J Udaya Kumar but played no part in the nail-biting contest.
Ajinkya Pawar (12 raid points) continued his fine run, picking up a ‘Super 10’ after coming on as a substitute. MS Athul (6 raid points) played second fiddle to Ajinkya as Thalaivas was more than happy to take home 3 points (for the tie) from the clash.
Experienced campaigners Monu Goyat (9 points – 8 raid points and 1 tackle point) and Prashant Kumar Rai (7 points – 6 raid points and 1 tackle point) were the top contributors for Patna, which let Thalaivas make a comeback post the break. Monu was the stand-out performer for three-time champion Pirates in the opening period, getting the better of a well-drilled Thalaivas defence on a few occasions.
But, the first half belonged to the defenders, with Patna clinching the first ‘All Out’ in the last minute. When the referee blew the half-time whistle, Pirates led 18-12. But, Thalaivas raider Ajinkya’s introduction in the second period turned the match on its head.
His successful raids set the tone for the Tamil Nadu team, which bagged its first ‘All Out’ in the 30th minute of the fixture.
Following the clean sweep, Thalaivas went into the lead but Pirates stayed within touching distance. The scorecard read 30-30 with a minute remaining on the clock, but both teams were satisfied with a tie and did not take the initiative to go for a win at the end.
In the second match on Thursday, Bengaluru Bulls defeated Jaipur Pink Panthers 38-31.
RESULTS: Tamil Thalaivas 30 tied with Patna Pirates 30; Bengaluru Bulls 38 bt Jaipur Pink Panthers 31