Tamil Thalaivas and Patna Pirates shared the spoils in a 30-30 tie in match 36 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru on Thursday, January 6.
Both teams went into the match on unbeaten streaks and matched each other blow for blow in an intensely-contested Kabaddi match. Ajinkya Pawar came off the bench to score 12 points for Thaliavas while Monu Goyat scored 9 for the Pirates.
Interestingly, coach Uday Kumar opted for a much-changed Tamil line-up against the Pirates with Manjeet and K. Prapanjan starting on the bench. Ajinkya Pawar, whose brilliant cameos had helped Thaliavas in the previous matches also started from the dugout. But with captain Surjeet Singh on the mat, the Tamil Thalaivas continued to look like a dominant side capable of challenging the best.
It was raining tackle points the entire half with Patna’s all-rounders also chipping in with tackles and assists. Monu Goyat was the stand-out star for the three-time champions, picking up difficult points against a well-drilled Tamil Thalaivas defence. Patna’s hybrid Kabaddi players, capable of defending and attacking, made it difficult for Thalaivas to target any weaknesses. The Patna Pirates clinched their first All Out in the last minute of the first half which finished 18-12 in favour of the men in green.
Ajinkya Pawar’s introduction provided much need sharpness to the Tamil raiding unit. His 2-point raid early in the second half set the tone for the Thalaivas who went on to get an All Out in the 8th minute. Ajinkya Pawar also clinched his Super 10 as Thalaivas opened a 2-point lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Patna stayed in the game, with two crucial reviews ensuring they stayed within touching distance from the Tamil Thalaivas. Sajin was having a poor night on the mat for Patna but Iranian Mohammadreza Chiyaneh ensured they stayed focused with body blocks and dashes. The scores were 30-30 with one minute left in the match and the teams decided to safeguard the three points (for a tie) rather than go for the win.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi