New Delhi: Patna Pirates became the first team to defend its title when it got the better of former champion Jaipur Pink Panthers 37-29 in the STAR Sports-ProKabaddi League Season 4 final at the Gachibowli Stadium here on Sunday.
Pirates, led by star raider Pardeep Narwal, was clearly the superior side. Narwal was given admirable support by the defence, especially the Iranian trio of Fazel Atrachali, Hadi Oshtrorak and Abolfazel Maghsodlo.
Showing big-match temperament under the stewardship of Dharmaraj Cherlanathan, Pirates were more aggressive in the second-half.
The Panthers raiders, led by captain Jasvir Singh, were not given much leeway and their woes were compounded by the splendid tackles by the Pirates defence.
In all, Pirates had six bonus points and two all-outs and Panthers four bonus points and no all-outs. Earlier, Storm Queens clinched a thriller to take the honours in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Challenge with a nail-biting 24-23 win over Fire Birds. Fire Birds led 10-8 at the break.
But, on resumption, it was Storm Queens which raised the tempo as raiders Jyoti, Priyanka Negi and Rasmita Sahoo worked in tandem to help the team lead 20-13 with five minutes to go for the final whistle.
Then, a couple of defensive lapses by Queens saw Fire Birds bounce back, primarily due to the efforts of Payal Choudhary and R. Mohana, and take the scoreline to 22-20.
Soon, there was excitement in the stands as Fire Birds scored its first all-out to take a stunning 23-22 lead in the dying seconds. But, Fire Birds made the mistake of not staying cool and focused as Storm Queens captain Tejaswini Bai drew on her vast experience to score two crucial points, including a bonus, on the final raid, and that triggered off celebrations in her camp.
“Yes, the target was to get the bonus point on my last raid as we did not want to take the issue into extra time,” remarked a jubilant Tejaswini.
A not-so-dejected Fire Birds captain Mamtha confessed they were in a celebratory mood and were confused a bit too early in the dying seconds. Earlier, the International Kabaddi Federation announced that India will host the 2016 kabaddi World Cup featuring 12 teams, in October.