Mumbai: Bengal Warriors marched into the semi-finals of the Season 3 Star Sports Pro Kabaddi by taming Bengaluru Bulls 26-22 in their penultimate match. Riding on a superlative performance from Captain Nilesh Shinde, Korean Jang Kun Lee and the tall Mahesh Goud, the Bengal Warriors faced stiff resistance from their rivals. This was their ninth win.
They led 13-11 at half-time with Jang Kun Lee and Nitin Tomar doing the spadework with four points each. Bengaluru Bulls kept themselves in the match with a super raid from Deepak Kumar Dahiya and a two pointer from Pawan Kumar.
With this win the Bengal Warriors took their tally to 43 points and they have a match in hand against the Puneri Paltan on the morrow. Bengaluru Bulls finished their engagements with 14 points.
In the second half the side from down South managed to surge ahead but the margin was never more than three points. The winners equalised in the 34th minute at 20-20 to set the stage for a tight finish. But Bengaluru still managed to open out a two point lead with Deepak Dahiya managing a point and Jang Kun Lee getting trapped once by Preetam Chhillar.
Bengal Warriors came up with two super tackles, one each from Nilesh Shinde and Deepak Kumar who was playing in place of the injured Girish Ernak. It was Mahesh Goud who gave the finishing touches with Nilesh Shinde. Mahesh netted two raid points and Nilesh Shinde trapped the slippery Vinoth Kumar.
Bengal Warriors were in a spot of bother early in the second half as they had lost Nitin Tomar and he was out of action for almost eight minutes. To the credit of the three who were left on court it must be said they averted the all-out and that helped them turn the tide. Nitin Tomar was revived but could not add to his tally. The job of scoring became difficult with substitute Shrikant Jadhav also unable to deliver during the do-or-die raids.
Jang Kun Lee scored a bonus and kicked rival captain Shrikant Tewthia to set up the equalizer at 20-20. A little later Mahesh Goud got a vital point dismissing Somvir who was off-colour today. Vinoth Kumar getting trapped made it 24-22 for the Bengal Warriors and Mahesh Goud ensured the win by getting Preetam Chhillar in a do-or-die raid. Nilesh Shinde finished the match by getting rival skipper Shrikant Tewthia effecting a perfect double ankle-hold.