During defensive routines, kabaddi players stay alert to facing high back-kicks from raiders attempting to get a touch. But here was one back-kick that left Rahul Chaudhuri surprised, but for different reasons.
While defending during the Bengaluru Bulls-Telugu Titans tie at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore, the 22-year-old lunged forward in an attempt to lodge an ankle hold on the hosts’ raider Amit Rathi. The raider then started crawling back to the mid-line, with Chaudhari still clinging onto his feet.
Yet as Rathi closed in on the line, he attempted to wriggle free of the defender and thrust himself to his own half. Coincidentally, just as Chaudhari let go of the raider in what he deemed was a lost cause, he received a swift kick to the face from Rathi.
Consequently, Rathi received the first ever red card in the history of the PKL.
Owner of the Bulls Uday Sinh Wala asserted the move was an accident and did not warrant the card. “Raiders always struggle and jerk to break free of defenders. It just so happened that Amit was trying to push himself forward the same moment Rahul let go. He immediately put his hand up to apologise as well, and Rahul acknowledged it and seemed to be willing to get on with the game,” Sinh Wala says.Meanwhile Chaudhari, who remained uninjured in the ordeal, praises the red card decision stating that the back kick was unwarranted. “He was already at the line and the raid was pretty much over. So a back kick wasn’t needed,” says Chaudhari, who then led his team to a 35-26 win.
In turn, technical director E Prasad Rao deemed the card as a result of ‘unfairly lifting a rival player during a raid.’
Incidentally, Titans coach Srinivas Reddy too received a red card in the same game for showing dissent during the game. Both Reddy and Rathi also get a one-match ban.
Tomar the hero for Bengal
Nitin Tomar emerged hero for Bengal Warriors by scoring points at crucial junctures as he led his side to a 33-28 win over Puneri Paltan in their first home match of the Pro Kabaddi League, here today. Nitin’s excellent performance of 11 points meant that Manjeet Chhillar’s good work for the Pune side went in vain.
Manjeet scored 13 points and his three super tackles in the first half kept his side in the fray at half-time with an 11-10 advantage at half-time. He even engineered super raid of five points in the second half, putting his team ahead 24-23. But Nitin Tomar came up with a two pointer and followed it up with a super raid of his own to make it 28-25 for Bengal. That effectively took the match away from the Pune side.
For Bengal Warriors, they played cohesively as a unit. In defence Bajirao Hodage had four successful tackles. He nullified the threat of Deepak Hooda on three occasions, all in the beginning of the second half.
They helped his side inflict the first all-out. The 22nd minute all-out propelled Bengal Warriors to 15-12. The winners drew away towards a healthy 22-18 lead only to see Manjeet put a spanner in their works.
Bajirao’s partner in crime Girish Ernak had three tackle points. The others to impress for the Bengal Warriors were Jang Kun Lee with three points and Mahesh Goud the lanky raider who exhibited good jumping skills while vaulting over Tushar Patil and Prashant Chavan in fine style.