Pro Kabaddi 2018: MVP Pawan Sehrawat leads Bengaluru Bulls to maiden PKL title
A superb show from Bengaluru Bulls’ Pawan Sehrawat condemned Gujarat Fortunegiants to its second successive final defeat in Pro Kabaddi.
Bengaluru Bulls with the Pro Kabaddi 2018 trophy after defeating Gujarat Fortunegiants 38-33 in the final. – VIVEK BENDRE
Bengaluru Bulls made its second appearance in a Pro Kabaddi League final a winning one, coming from behind to romp home 38-33 against Gujarat Fortunegiants at the NSCI indoor stadium on Saturday.
The first-time champion owed the victory to a burst of confidence under pressure from Pawan Sehrawat, who scored 22 raid points from 25 attempts and was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the season, finishing with the highest points (282).
Key highlights from the match
Gujarat’s realised the final slipping away from its grasp quite late and its attempts at damage control were futile. Its defenders took hasty risks towards the end but to no avail. Sachin Tanwar shone bright for Gujarat but returns were relatively low at 10 points from 22 raids. K Prapanjan (five) and captain Sunil (four) were the other contrbutors.
The Bengaluru Bulls defense hit the ground running tackling Gujarat star Sachin Tanwar on the very first raid. But towards the end of the half, Bulls were facing an all-out and had six players in the dugout, when Kashiling Adake came in as a substitute. He was expected to stage a rescue act with his reach and agility and did his bit with a running hand touch on rival skipper Sunil Kumar.
Leading 11-9 at this stage, Fortungiants sent in Prapanjan who clinched the all-out and Gujarat found itself 16-9 ahead at the end of the first half but its cruise was halted by PKL raiding ace Sehrawat whose inspired raid on return to the mat marked a turning point in the final. He twisted and turned on his raid to send out two Gujarat players.
Pawan Sehrawat put on an incredible show, scoring 22 points from 25 raids for Bengaluru Bulls. – AP
Pawan Sehrawat’s quick and efficient raids kept closing the gap and Bengaluru soon found itself just two points behind. The match turned on its head when Sehrawat inflicted an all-out on his next raid to put Bengaluru ahead 23-22.Raider Sumit Singh’s tackle turned out be the next crucial point in the match. His hold on Prapanjan extended Bengaluru’s lead to 32-39 and left just two players on the mat for Gujarat. Sehrawat did what was expected of him in the following raid – took out the two inflicting another all-out and that was the last nail in the coffin for Gujarat.
As the clock ticked away, Gujarat made more mistakes in haste and eventually ended up on the losing side in a final for the second consecutive season after losing to Patna Pirates last season.