After their last match of the league, the three-time champions Patna Pirates coach Ram Mehar Singh has said that they lost around 8-9 matches because they lacked a good second raider and a reliable defence. Patna won their last match against Bengal Warriors with a scoreline of 69-41.
Despite having a steady start, Patna was almost on the verge of an all-out against the second string side of Bengal Warriors but young defenders' mistakes helped Patna come back in the game. After saving the all-out, they quickly inflicted an all-out onto the Warriors and took a 10-point lead as the first half ended. Despite their defence continuing to make mistakes, one man wasn’t affected at all and that was their skipper Pardeep Narwal who equalled his career-best score in a single match (34). Despite his consistent performance, his team failed to make it to the playoffs for the second time in a row.
“Pardeep gave his best and tried very hard. But for any team to win on a consistent basis they need support from a second raider and the defence. I believe we did not get to see Pardeep’s best in a few matches at the start. But the lack of a good defence and second raider lost us at least 8-9 matches, which we could have won in the dying minutes,” coach Ram Mehar Singh said while pointing out team’s shortcomings in the post-match press conference.
Pardeep not only equalled a record but made a new one too, he became the only player to oust six players in one raid twice and none other raider has been able to do it even once. Even their defence did well as they executed five super tackles where even the raiders had a super tackle to their name. Neeraj Kumar was the top defender with five points and he was well supported by Vikas Jaglan who finished the match with four tackle points.
“Had we won the 7-8 matches where we conceded in the last couple of minutes, we could have at least been third or fourth on the points table,” Patna coach Ram Mehar signed off.