CHENNAI: Tamil Thalaivas tasted victory for the first time in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 as it edged out Patna Pirates 33-32 at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday.
Thalaivas, which had lost twice and tied once heading into the match, was behind by six points (22-28) with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. But, the TT players rose to the occasion in the home straight, effecting the all-important ‘All Out’ – the team’s only clean sweep – in the 38th minute, which tilted the match.
Super substitute Himanshu Singh, who was introduced in the first half, racked up 11 raid points while Narender contributed nine raid points. Patna’s Rohit Gulia (11 raid points) earned a ‘Super 10’, but his fighting effort eventually went in vain.
The Tamil Nadu team began the match on the front foot with a 6-3 lead, only to allow Pirates to draw level at 6-6. Thalaivas was staring at an ‘All Out’ in the 13th minute, but Himanshu delivered an impressive ‘Super Raid’ that was worth three points. However, PP completed the sweep in the 15th minute to hold a three-point (13-10) cushion.
At half-time, Patna was ahead by a slender two-point margin as the scorecard read 17-15 in its favour. Himanshu came up with another ‘Super Raid’ at the start of the second period, but Pirates inflicted another ‘All Out’ in the 27th minute to lead 26-21.
In the final 10 minutes, Thalaivas turned the match around with some stunning pieces of play. In the 37th minute, Himanshu did not allow the nerves to get the better of him as he secured two points in a ‘Do or Die’ raid to level the score at 29 all. Had he been pinned down by the defence, Patna would have got two crucial points via a ‘Super Tackle’.
TT effected an ‘All Out’ two minutes from time, surging ahead 32-30. In the last raid of the match, which was a ‘Do or Die’ one, Thalaivas ran down the clock to secure its maiden win. It could afford to do so since it was up by two points ahead of the final raid.
Meanwhile, defending champion Dabang Delhi maintained its unbeaten start to the season with a 38-36 victory over Haryana Steelers. It was Delhi’s fifth win on the trot.