Kochi: A collective effort from Bengaluru Bulls guided them to the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season six final after a thumping 41-29 victory over Gujarat Fortunegiants in the first qualifier of the cash-rich tournament at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
After the defeat, Gujarat will take on the winner between Dabang Delhi and UP Yoddhas in the second qualifier in Mumbai.
Pawan Sehrawat starred for Bengaluru with 13 raid points, while skipper Rohit Kumar also rose up to the occasion, picking 11 raid points. On the other hand, Sachin Malik and K. Prapanjan collected 10 and five points, respectively for Gujarat.
Pawan opened Bengaluru’s account with a successful raid before Sachin responded back for Gujarat with a two-point raid to make the affair 2-1. Bengaluru then rode skipper Rohit and Pawan’s raid attempts followed by a tackle of Prapanjan to extend their lead to 4-2.
Sachin continued to make the most of his raid attempts as his another two-pointer once again levelled the contest at 5-5 by the seventh minute. Both the sides traded raid and tackle points as the score was again tied at 9-9 by the 10th minute.
Rohit and Pawan’s consecutive successful raids helped Bengaluru extend their lead to 11-9 but Rohit Guliya’s two-pointer raid attempt equalised the matter at 11-11 with five minutes left in the first half.
Kashiling Adake’s failed raid attempt and Prapanjan’s successful raid saw Gujarat taking a meagre 13-11 lead by the 17th minute. Sumit made couple of consecutive successful raids to help Bengaluru cut the deficit to 13-14 by the end of the first half.
In the second half, both the sides once again continued to make some great tackles and raids as the issue was once again tied at 16-16 by the 24th minute.
Pawan’s failed raid attempt followed by Prapanjan’s successful attempt saw Gujarat stretching their lead to 18-16 however, Bengaluru tackled Prapanjan and Harish Naik came with a raid point to level the matter at 18-18 by the 28th minute.
Gujarat then collected four points in quick succession to take a 22-18 lead with nine minutes of play left and went on to inflict an all-out to further stretch their lead to 25-20.
The pendulum swung the other way as a super raid from Pawan guided Bengaluru to move to 23 points, leaving Gujarat with just four players on the mat. Pawan again came with a super raid to inflict an all-out as Bengaluru took a 29-26 lead over their opponents.
Bengaluru’s defence then stepped up as they tackled four Gujarat raiders in as many attempts to make the score read 32-26 by the 37th minute and Pawan’s another successful raid made the issue 33-26.
Bengaluru then inflicted another all-out to take a healthy 40-29 lead with just two minutes of play left. Rohit’s side then easily picked another point in the dying moments to register a comfortable 41-29 win.