Defending champions Bengaluru Bulls and U Mumba sealed their places in the playoffs of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) with easy wins , here on Wednesday.
High-Flyer Pawan Sehrawat was once again the hero for the Bulls as they beat home team Haryana Steelers 56-39. Sehrawat scored a record-shattering 39 points, three more than what the entire Steelers managed.
He bettered Pardeep Narwal's 34 raid points score in a match.
U Mumba sealed their place in the playoffs with a 30-26 win over Patna Pirates.
Skipper Sultan Fazel Atrachali remained rock solid in defence yet again as the captain led from the front to neutralise Patna's Pardeep Narwal with a strong performance at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex.
U Mumba started the first half brightly with the defence taking an aggressive stance from the first minute.
Fazel Atrachali set the tone early with double thigh hold tackle on Narwal in the very first minute of the match.
Abhishek Singh, ably supported by Athul MS, provided the firepower for Mumba in the raids as Mumbai cruised to a lead. They clinched their first all-out of the match in the 9th minute to open up an 8-point lead.
Fazel reached the milestone of 300 overall points in the process. But Patna clawed their way back in the closing stages of the half thanks largely to improved performances by Pardeep Narwal and Jang Kun Lee.
The ‘Dubki King’ Narwal produced a two-point raid with under three minutes left for the half time to reduce Mumba’s lead to 5 points. The half ended 17-13 with Mumbai on top.
U Mumba started the second half with a Super Tackle on Narwal but Patna composed themselves to stay in the match despite Pardeep being off the court for a long duration.
Mohammad EsmaeilMaghsoudlou impressed with his all-round efforts while Jang Kun Lee’s improved raiding also helped Patna stay in touch. Fazel meanwhile was giving everyone a masterclass on captaincy, marshalling and motivating his troops to stick to the gameplan.
Patna got lucky with six minutes remaining when Jang Kun Lee ventured out-of-bound and took three U Mumba defenders with him.
With the point margin reduced to just a point and momentum heavily on Patna’s side, the three-time champions sniffed an all-out but Rohit Baliyan’s kick helped U Mumba revive another player to stay in the lead.
The Mumbai defence held firm in the final minutes to clinch a seat in the playoffs.