Rohit Kumar continued his splendid run of form as he completed his super 10 in the dying seconds of the game and the Bengaluru defence held their nerve in the final stages to defeat Tamil Thalaivas 32-31 in a thriller in Nagpur. This gave Bengaluru the perfect to their home leg for this season.
Rohit Kumar’s superb run on the mat gives Bengaluru a huge lead
Bengaluru Bulls skipper Rohit Kumar won the toss and chose the court which meant that Tamil Thalaivas would raid first. The game started off slowly as both teams sized each other up, but Rohit Kumar’s raid point for Bengaluru Bulls opened the scoring on the night. That started an exchange of points as K. Prapanjan squared things up for the Thalaivas at 2-2. However, Bengaluru soon opened up a four-point lead at 6-2, before stopping D. Pradap to inflict the first all out of the game. The Bengaluru skipper then consolidated the lead as he produced a perfect dubki that extended their lead to 12-3. The game marked the start of Bengaluru’s home leg for this season and they certainly gave the home crowd plenty of reasons to cheer for as they asserted their supremacy over the struggling visitors. While Bengaluru kept going from strength to strength, the men in yellow just could not find their rhythm in either attack or defence as the Bulls imposed the second all out of the game to take the score to 21-5. Although Thalaivas managed to secure two raid points towards the end of the first half, Bengaluru enjoyed a colossal lead of 23-8 at the end of the first half.
Bengaluru survive a late comeback from Tamil Thalaivas
After the break, Tamil Thalaivas came out with a much more aggressive approach and it helped them gain a few early points through some solid defence that included a superb dash on Ajay Kumar. Although Kumar reviewed the decision, the replays suggested that his body was completely out of the mat. However, that didn’t affect Bengaluru’s lead much as they still enjoyed a massive 15-point lead with the score at 25-10. With just over ten minutes to go in the game, it was always going to be about time management for Bengaluru with the kind of lead that they had established. While Bengaluru’s attack led by Rohit Kumar was on fire in the first half, the home side showcased the resoluteness of their defence in the second half as they managed a super tackle on Ajay Thakur to extend their lead to 28-13. But some moments later, Thakur started showcasing his abilities with three consecutive raid points for the visitors and that helped them impose their first all-out on the hosts at 31-19. But it was too little too late for the Sachin Tendulkar-owned franchise as with less than five minutes to go, the remainder of the game had become a mere formality for Bengaluru as they had put themselves in a seemingly unassailable position with a lead of 31-22. But a major twist took place when Tamil Thalaivas inflicted a second all out on the Bulls to reduce the deficit to 31-28. Prapanjan then made it a one-point game as he managed a successful raid and the Thalaivas were handed a technical point to take the game to 31-30, but Rohit Kumar held his nerve to complete a super 10 with the last raid of the game as the Bulls emerged victorious with the final score at 32-31.