Tamil Thalaivas thrashed Bengaluru Bulls 42-24 in a one-sided contest in match 83 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru on Sunday, January 30. 

The second match of Season 8’s Rivalry Week (January 30 to February 6) turned out to be a mauling as Tamil Thalaivas dominated the mat to win the prestigious Southern Derby. 

Ajinkya Pawar scored a Super 10 for the Tamil team and was supported well by his raiding partner Manjeet with 8 points. Their defenders had a great night too with Sagar picking up a High 5 to ensure Bulls’ captain Pawan Sehrawat ended the match without a Super 10.

Bengaluru went into the Southern Derby with a 7-0 win/loss ratio and controlled the early minutes, but Thalaivas gradually found their foothold to draw level. The scores were 6-6 after 10 minutes but the Tamil team switched gears to pull away from the Bulls. 

Ajinkya Pawar’s speedy raids found the Bulls defence struggling while their own raiders struggled against a resolute Thalaivas defence. The team from Chennai inflicted their first All Out in the 13th minute to open a 5-point lead. The Bulls defence, who had no Saurabh Nandal and Mahender Singh in the starting 7, continued to leak points after the All Out. Ajinkya’s calmness in Do-or-Die situations helped Thalaivas open a bigger lead and eventually secure another All Out with 2 minutes remaining for half-time. At the interval, the scores were 21-8 with Thalaivas having the momentum.

Tamil Thalaivas continued to control the match after the interval with their defenders leaving no room for the Bulls raiders. M Abhishek in the cover position won his personal battles against Pawan Sehrawat and Bengaluru could not find the backup raiders to revive their captain quickly. Thalaivas got their third ALL OUT with 9 minutes remaining to get a 20-point lead. 

Pawan Sehrawat and Bharat gave the Bulls a few quick points after the 10th minute Time Out, but Thalaivas maintained a healthy lead going into the dying minutes. Coach Uday Kumar wanted his raiders to slow the speed of the match by taking it to the third raid and Ajinkya Pawar ensured his team succeeded in the Do-or-Die situations. The raider also picked his Super 10 in the final minute. Sagar picked his High 5 as the defenders ensured the Thalaivas clinched an important derby victory.

Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi