The raid is a sacred part of Kabaddi. It encapsulates the essence of the game, denting the armor of the enemy, and conquering their territory. The joy associated with pulling off a successful raid is indescribable and provides a boost of energy to the collective.
In this year’s Pro Kabaddi League, Patna Pirates hold the record for the most number of successful raids. Over the last 20 matches, they have remarkably succeeded in 377 raid attempts, garnering a total of 461 raid points.
The average raid score of all the other teams combined does not compare to the Pirates’ score, a testament to their legacy as one of the most successful PKL teams.
Here are some of The Pirates’ most successful raids this season:
1. Manjeet vs Bengaluru Bulls
He may be making waves as a budding all-rounder, but Manjeet is first and foremost a terrific raider. Earlier on this season, he delivered a stunning do-or-die raid, which was converted into a Toofani Super Raid.
Pardeep Narwal is usually the one providing successful raids, however, this time around Manjeet stole the show, with 2 raid points and 1 bonus point. It is not uncommon for raiders to claim a super raid, however, we feel this particular raid deserved recognition for its execution. Manjeet displayed superior strength and determination in order to get away from the Bengaluru defenders, fighting off a double ankle hold to get across the line. He continued to crawl towards the line despite the added pressure from the defenders, with that moment depicting almost a tug off war game between the three players.
2. Pardeep Narwal vs Puneri Paltans
Documentation of the Pirates’ best raids would remain incomplete if the name Pardeep Narwal was left out. Branded the “Dubki King’ after his signature “Dubki” feint, he holds the prestigious accolade for being the highest ever scorer of points in PKL’s history.
Though he has countless textbook raids to his name, we felt his recent raid of the Puneri Paltans is his most special one this season. Coincidentally, this raid was the one that took his tally to 800 points, achieving immortality in the history books.
Pardeep’s ability to add an element of surprise that catches the defender off guard is the key to his success. And he demonstrated his guile once again, first attempting a scorpion kick, which then led to bewildering the raider in front of him with a running hand touch, before the final escape to safety occurred. The atmosphere post this excellent display of spatial awareness was electric, with most fans euphoric and unable to contain their sense of wonder at the spectacle they had just witnessed.
3. Manjeet vs Dabang Delhi:
While playing against Dabang Delhi, Manjeet proved his worth once again with a spectacular Toofani Super Raid, which proved crucial to the eventual outcome of the game, which ended in 38-35 in favour of the Pirates. The perseverance on display was motivational, with Manjeet successfully breaking a chain of 5 defenders and then escaping another tackle attempt from the ferocious Rajesh of Delhi. The remarkable aspect of this particular raid was his manipulation of the timing aspect of a getaway, waiting for the defenders to make their move first, before extending his limbs towards safety.
4. Pardeep Narwal vs Tamil Thalaivas
Back to the superstar of the Pirates once again, we have Pardeep Narwal’s heroics against the Tamil Thalaivas. The anticipation in the stands was at an all-time high, with everyone waiting to experience the escalation of Pardeep and Ajay Thakur’s rivalry. With 20 seconds left on the clock, Pardeep pulled of a time-defying move, killing two birds with one stone in the process. Not only did he score the point that denied Tamil a win, but also eliminated main defender Manjeet Chillar with a running hand touch.
Prior to this The Thaliavas were cautious in the approach, unwilling to risk their lead. Narwal dashed their hopes of victory with his antics, prompting frustration and cheer from opposite ends of the stands. His strength and never-say-die attitude in the midst of a difficult situation, coupled with his quick thinking made it an inspirational moment.
5. Deepak Narwal vs UP Yoddhas:
The consistent rise of Deepak Narwal has been a blessing, everyone associated with the Pirates are grateful for. Amidst a poor run of form, the Pirates were once again struggling to replicate their title-winning persona against the Thailavas. Tamil had a comfortable 4 point lead when Deepak obstructed their dominating flow, prompting a sigh of relief from the fans. The importance of seizing control from the Thailaivas couldn’t be overstated, the gap between the two teams could have been un-surmountable had Deepak not risen to the challenge. Facing the 6-man defence of Tamil, Narwal seemed to be cornered in the right hand side of the pitch. Tamil’s defenders sensed an opportunity to end the raid, but Deepak forcefully pushed away an oncoming challenge, evading a tackle attempt in the process, with his quick feet and effective technique. Had he failed to escape, the Pirates would have surely lost the match and faced the wrath of supporters, who have become accustomed to see their team win consistently. Eventually Patna won a closely contested game with a narrow two-point lead.
There’s a lot more excitement to be experienced at this year’s Pro Kabaddi League. Keep coming back for more!