Bengaluru Bulls have been guilty of being too dependent on individual performances this season. Rohit Kumar’s raids have been the chief source of points and hope for the Bulls. If there is anyone else who has a sizeable impact on the team’s performances, it has been defender Ravinder Pahal. Naturally, take any of these two out and Bengaluru’s chances of winning a match goes down by half. That is exactly what happened in their match against Bengal Warriors in Mumbai.
The two teams were evenly matched for the better part of the first half before the Warriors pulled away in the last couple of minutes. They then got a Super Raid through Gurvinder Singh and then in went Jang Kun Lee. Only Pahal and Ashish Kumar were on Bengaluru’s side of the mat. Both managed to get a hold of the Korean’s ankles but Lee crawled his way back to the touch line. It took quite some time for him to get there but the officials awarded the point to Bengal. Pahal argued with the referee about the legitimacy of the point and that earned him a green card and a yellow card. When Pahal refused to back down, the referee handed him a red, ruling out his participation from the rest of the match.
Both captains had contrasting opinions about the decision. “It was not the right decision at all,” said Bengaluru skipper Rohit Kumar in the post-match press conference, “Yes Ravinder was at fault as he shouldn’t have argued. But Lee took a long time to get back and the referee should have awarded us the point. I’m sure if it was us doing the raiding, we wouldn;t have got the point.” His Delhi counterpart Surjeet Singh, however was of the opinion that it was a legitimate point. “The referee gave us the point and the referee’s decision has to be respected,” he said.
Whether right or wrong, that one moment of madness changed the game. Apart from being a man down, Bengaluru Bulls conceded a total of four points in that raid. The Warriors didn’t cave from there. Rohit Kumar ensured that Bengaluru Bulls kept the scoreboard ticking but so did Bengal. Surinder Singh was instrumental at the back for them, scoring eight tackle points. The win now means that Bengal Warriors are level on points with Patna Pirates in Zone B and ove closer to UP Yoddha at the top of the table. Bengaluru Bulls are, on the other hand, a place below them in the standings.