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PKL 8: Haryana and UP share spoils, Bengaluru crush Delhi

Published at :January 13, 2022 at 3:37 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : Press Release)

Shaunak Ghosh

Yoddha took the lead in the first half but failed to keep it intact till the end of the match. 

U.P. Yoddha and Haryana Steelers played out a 36-36 tie in Match 49 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8. The Yoddha had the lead for most parts of the match. Haryana staged a late comeback to win crucial 3 points in the race for a playoff spot. Their captain Vikash Kandola starred in the raiding department with 17 points.

He would have won the match for the Steelers had it not been for Surender Gill’s heroics at the other end. Gill scored 14 points for U.P. The tie would be upsetting for him after having an 8-point lead in the second half. 

Haryana coach Rakesh Kumar started the PKL match with just two raiders in Meetu and Vikash Kandola. The defensive strategy didn’t seem to work out in the initial stages however with U.P. Yoddha’s Pardeep Narwal inducing errors. The “record breaker” was ably supported by his defense with Anshu Singh and Nitesh Kumar looking impressive. Yoddha got their first ALL OUT with 7 minutes remaining to open a 5-point lead. 

But Haryana was in no mood to let the match slip. Vikash Kandola helped them stay in touching distance from Yoddha. Their defender Jaideep was looking in good form as well as the half ended 14-13 with Yoddha in the lead.  

Both teams kept matching each other in the early minutes of the second half. Vikash picked valuable raid points, but Haryana’s defense was struggling. It was a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup. Jaideep, arguably their best defender kept swapping positions to suit the formation. Yoddha’s Surender Gill scored a 3-point Super Raid in the 10th minute to get them a 3-point lead. The shift in momentum helped them claim another ALL OUT.  

Coach Rakesh Kumar brought his third raider Rohit Guliya to the mat. They then switched to a traditional formation after ALL OUT. Yoddha defenders made a few errors in the dying minutes. It was done in order to give Haryana a big chance to inflict an ALL OUT. Vikash Kandola produced a stunning 5-point raid to reduce U.P.’s lead to just one point with slightly more than 1 minute remaining. He secured his Super 10 in the process and then clinched another 2-point raid to give Haryana the lead.  

Surender Gill however has other ideas as matched Vikash with multiple multi-point raids. But the Yoddha raider opted to play it safe in the last raid of the game. This ended the PKL season 8 match in a tie. 

Pawan Sehrawat helps Bengaluru Bulls annihilate Dabang Delhi

Bengaluru Bulls decimated a hapless Dabang Delhi K.C. 61-22 in match 50 of PKL Season 8. Pawan Sehrawat scored an outstanding 27 points from 27 raids as the Bulls ran riot against a Delhi side missing Naveen Kumar. The 39-point victory was the second biggest win in vivo PKL history and helped the Bulls jump to the top of the points table.

The lack of a secondary raider hurt Dabang Delhi K.C. who suffered their second loss of the season. The nature of the loss will also hurt Delhi whose score difference went to 4 because of the sizeable loss.

There was no place in the Delhi starting 7 for Ajay Thakur despite the absence of Naveen Kumar with Vijay and Neeraj Narwal shouldering the raiding responsibilities. Delhi looked toothless in attack without the Naveen Express, but their defence managed to restrict Pawan Sehrawat's time on the mat in the initial minutes.

But once the Bulls defenders got their act together, there was no stopping their charge. Pawan Sehrawat’s raid points and Saurabh Nandal’s tackles helped the Bulls get their first ALL OUT with 4 minutes remaining. 

Ajay Thakur was brought onto the mat after Neeraj Narwal picked up a head injury but that didn’t change the fortunes for the Delhi side. Pawan’s blitzkrieg in the dying minutes of the half gave the Bulls another ALL OUT. The first half ended 27-11 with Bengaluru in a big lead.

The second half belonged completely to the Bulls who picked up points after points from a clueless Delhi defence. Bengaluru got their third ALL OUT in the 6th minute of the half and followed it up with another in the 11th minute to open a 33-point lead. Delhi’s lack of a Plan B in the absence of Naveen Kumar got exposed as experienced players looked at each other for answers.

Pawan Sehrawat crossed 20 raid points with 9 minutes still left as the Bulls crossed the 50-point mark. The bulls clinched another ALL OUT as they moved to an unbelievable 40-point lead with 2 minutes to play. The Bulls defenders saw out the final raids to help them jump to the top of the points table.

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