It’s been a while since the Pirates played their final game of this season. Are you missing the action? The thrill of a successful raid, the powerful pride evoked after a jaw-breaking tackle? The Dubki? We certainly are, as such is our obsession with the Pirates that we require year-round satiation.
In this article are the best raids of each season, in our modest opinion, raids which defined the Pirates’ dynamic, fast-paced style of Kabaddi, and re-enforced our love for the sport.
Season 1 – Rakesh’s great escape
Known for his stellar frog jumping technique, which is unusually high and long, Rakesh Kumar once again re-iterated the decision of the coach to give him the captaincy with his heroic display against U-Mumba. Despite being in a sticky situation: the defenders were close to cornering him, he used their momentum against them, pushing back the closest one before reacting with super-natural awareness and speed, vaulting over the line to safety and success. It was a great feat of athleticism and a thrilling moment of sporting prowess that was instrumental in bringing the fans to a rousing cheer of applause.
Season 2 – A raid of perseverance
Sandeep Narwal, in possession of the armband against the Bengaluru Bulls, led the Pirates to victory with a strategic show of immense strength throughout the game. In a do-or-die raid, Narwal, known for his quick-thinking ability, escaped three tackle attempts to reach the mid-line, whereupon more danger awaited him. He displayed a swift evasion of the ankle hold, crawled forward with his legs held down before shocking everyone in anticipation by stretching his arm despite having his upper body tackled. An unforgettable raid, Sandeep proved that the mental attributes of a Kabaddi player are as important as the physical. The intricate, delicate ideation, and his robust execution of the raid were magical to behold.
Season 3 – Rohit Kumar steals the show
The season finale saw the Pirates go head-to-head with U-Mumba, and to gather momentum on an early lead, Rohit Kumar was sent into the lion’s den. With the score set at 2-6 in our favour, Rohit succumbed to his masterful skill with a spectacular raid which saw him claim 4 points, and an all-out elimination for a devastated U-Mumba side. This was a moment which set the precedent for the remainder of the final, firmly balancing the odds in favour of a Pirate victory, and the 8 points which Rohit earned throughout the game were instrumental to Patna becoming champions for the first time in PKL’s history!
Season 4 – Rajesh’s game changer raid
Season 4’s semi-finals saw our Pirates take on the Puneri Paltans, in an enthralling match which ended 37-33 in our favour. At one point, the Pirates were trailing by 6 points. Rajesh Mondal, sensing the urgent need to bridge the gap, brought his best to the Paltans and amassed a massive 6 points to break even. His spectacular super raid proved to be the major catalyst for victory, and it set the stage for Pardeep Narwal to score the winning points. The absence of Mondal’s heroics would have certainly reduced the probability of victory, and the subsequent claim of their second consecutive crown.
Season 5 – The highest scoring raid ever
What better raid to reminisce about than a record shattering one? Pardeep Narwal, one of the all-time greats of the PKL, stunned the Kabaddi world with the highest scoring raid ever. Patna were leading the Haryana Steelers by a large margin, 44-25, when Narwal added insult to injury with an effort that eliminated all 6 players of the opposition. The speed and ease with which he produced this magical moment was astounding, and imprinted a state of unanimous ecstasy upon the privileged onlookers. Along with an additional 2 points for an all-out, captain and Dubki-King Narwal managed a never-seen-before 8 points from a single raid. In the highest scoring match, with the highest number of individual raid points claimed, and the highest scoring raid, the miracle man Narwal thrilled the entire Kabaddi fan-base with his heroics.
Season 6 – Pardeep Narwal once again creates history
Patna faced the Paltans in the Inter-Zone Challenge of Season 6, a match once-again determined by captain Pardeep Narwal. In the second half, the Dubki King attempted the risky do-or-die raid, and returned from battle with a record career total of 800 raid points.
The art of the dubki, dodging and ducking are the major tactics of deception one associates with Narwal. This play saw him feign a scorpion kick, which quickly transformed into a running hand touch and then a clamber towards safety.
The exponential growth and steep learning curve of the Patna Pirates has been exceptional, considering their uniquely effective style of Kabaddi, throughout the six seasons of the Vivo Pro Kabaddi League. Despite relinquishing their crown this season; their entertaining raids never fail to enthrall.
We’re eagerly awaiting the return of the league, and the next chapter of the thrilling tale of the Patna Pirates.