The first season of the Pro Kabaddi League has come to a close with the Jaipur Pink Panthers getting crowned as Champions. In an exciting final, the Jaipur team comprehensively defeated the home team U Mumba by a margin of 11 points. The final score read 35-24.
For the Pink Panthers, Maninder Singh emerged as the star raider with 7 points while Prashant Chavan displayed some brilliant defending skills and pocketed 6 points from 6 successful tackles. It was a night of the Jaipur defenders as they scored 13 tackle points in contrast to Mumbai’s 4.
Anup Kumar scored 11 raid points for U Mumba and he went on to become the top raider of the tournament. These points weren’t enough for his team as there was limited support from the defenders. Surinder Nada and Mohit Chillar, who were the heroes of the semi-finals, looked off colour as they managed to score only 1 point each.
The Jaipur defenders did well to maintain a healthy lead in the second half after a tense first 20 minutes. They inflicted two all-outs, thus getting 4 points and succeeded in dominating over every other Mumbai raider barring Anup Kumar. Rishank Devadiga and Shabeer Bapu managed only 1 and 2 points respectively. The Jaipur raiders, mainly Maninder and Jasvir Singh extended the lead to 11 points in the dying minutes of the game.Once the final whistle was blown , one could see scenes of a happy and pumped Abhishek Bachchan, the team owner, celebrate with his boys.
Earlier, the Patna Pirates beat the Bengaluru Bulls 29-22 to secure the third place in the tournament. Ravi Dalal was the star raider for Patna with 9 points but it was the defenders who majorly accounted for the win. D. Suresh Kumar, Girish Ernak and stand-in captain Waseem Sajjad scored 7, 5 and 4 tackle points respectively and they kept every Bengaluru raider under pressure till the very end.
A better performance was expected from Bangalore, mainly from Ajay Thakur and skipper Manjit Chillar. Ajay, the star raider for the Bulls managed to score only 2 raid points and was mostly kept away from the mat by the Pirates. The skipper had only 1 raid point to his name but he scored 4 valuable tackle points. The highly experienced defender, 39 year old Dharamaraj Cheralathan was the standout performer for the losing side as he scored 1 raid point and 5 tackle points. He saved his team from an all-out on two occasions single-handedly.
The co-founders of the Pro Kabaddi League made two very important announcements: One, the next season of the mega event will be held in March 2015 and Two, women’s kabaddi might also be added as a category.
Finals: Jaipur Pink Panthers 35-24 U Mumba
Third place playoff: Patna Pirates 29-22 Bengaluru Bulls
Best Raider of the Tournament: Anup Kumar (U Mumba)- 156 points
Best defender of the Tournament: Manjit Chillar (Bengaluru Bulls)- 51 points.