Calcutta: The city, which has embraced the glitz of the IPL with open arms, was raided by kabaddi, in its glamourous avatar of Star Sports Pro-Kabaddi League, on Wednesday. And to put it in kabaddi’s terms, it was a pretty successful raid.
The stage was the Netaji Indoor Stadium; the match was between the Bengal Warriors and Bengaluru Bulls; the result was an overwhelming victory for kabaddi, the traditional game of the country, which lost its place to jazzy marketing of other sporting disciplines.
Buzz of around 4,000 noisy spectators, the surreal psychedelic lights and thumping music wasn’t enough to inspire the Warriors to a victory as they lost the match 30-46.
However, the atmosphere didn’t have much scope for disappointment as the mood was of a festival.
The Bulls were bullish from the very onset and maintained a healthy lead all through to emerge comfortable winners. The Warriors looked a rudder-less team, both in attack and defence.
With the hosts looking disorganised while defending, the visitors raced on to an early lead. They earned two Lonas in the first half, which helped them enjoy a 25-13 advantage when the players went for the breather.
The Warriors were left to do too much in the second half and against the team which was technically superior, they never managed to get a foothold on the match. There was a brief period in the second half when the Warriors displayed a strong game, but the Bulls reorganised quickly to counter that.
While the home team failed to get a single Lona in the match, the Bulls got one more Lona in the second half to take their match tally to three. The match had slipped out of the Warriors’ grip in the first half itself and so the end result wasn’t much surprising.
For the Bulls, Ajay Thakur, who was adjudged the Best Player of the Match, was the top scorer with 10 raid points. Local boy Rajesh Mondal, who represented the Bulls, got five points and was a crowd favourite.
Dharmaraj Cherlathan of the Bulls was the Best Defender of the Match with three successful tackles of three attempts.
A look at the stats sums up the game perfectly. While the Warriors had 19 successful raids, the Bulls had 25; compared to the 15 tackles from the visiting team, the hosts managed 11. Most importantly, while the Bulls earned 6 All Out points, the warriors had none.
The Warriors were not innovative in their attack and were clumsy in defence. In contrast, the Bulls defended gallantly overpowering most of the warriors’ raids.
This was the Bulls’ third win on the trot. The Warriors are yet to win a match after two outings.