PKL 8: Gujarat outclass Bengal, Bengaluru beat UP
Both the teams performed brilliantly to register crucial victories.
Gujarat Giants made it two wins in two days by beating defending champions Bengal Warriors 34-25 in the first match of Day 3 in Pro Kabaddi League Season (PKL) 8 rivalry week. Giants’ raiders made it a night to remember by inviting errors from the Warriors defence and playing to the team’s strategy.
Ajay Kumar picked 9 points and was supported by Pardeep Kumar with 7. Bengal’s loss will affect their confidence as they try to secure a playoff berth. Captain Maninder Singh scored 9 points but had a difficult time on the mat against a well-drilled Gujarat unit marshalled by Parvesh Bhainswal and Sunil Kumar.
The first half of tonight’s PKL game was closely fought with both defences bringing their A-game to the mat. The Giants made just one change to the side that beat Haryana Steelers with Rakesh Narwal replacing Mahendra Rajput. But Gujarat’s left corner Ravinder Pahal suffered an early injury to his knee and had to be replaced by Iranian Hadi Oshtorak. It was the Giants who took an early lead in the match, but Bengal found their way back, inspired by Ran Singh’s Super Tackle.
The lead kept changing hands in the first half with Gujarat going on top once again through a 3-point Super Raid by Pardeep Kumar in the 9th minute. Bengal immediately clawed their way back with a 2-point raid by Maninder Singh. Both PKL defences opted for a high line which meant there were no bonus points on offer. Gujarat’s Ajay Kumar also chipped in with valuable raid points. The half ended with scores 13-12 in the Giants’ favour.
Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh substituted Rakesh Narwal for Rakesh S in the second half and the proved to be a big decision. The young PKL raider fetched a 3-point Super Raid in the early minutes which gave the Giants enough momentum to secure an ALL OUT in the 7th minute after the restart. Bengal captain Maninder Singh was having a troubled night, failing in Super Tackle situations, and not moving with confidence. Substitute Ravindra Kumavat contributed with important raid points while Ran Singh clinched his High 5.
Gujarat had a 9-point lead going into the final five minutes and they extended it with Pardeep Kumar excellent with his raids. At no point did the lead look in threat despite Maninder Singh’s attempts in the final minutes. They put on a collective effort to ensure Bengal Warriors lost be a 9-point margin at the end of the PKL clash.
Bengaluru Bulls outsmart UP Yoddha
A collective effort from Bengaluru Bulls helped them beat U.P Yoddha 31-26 in the second match of Day 3 in PKL Season 8 rivalry week. Pawan Sehrawat scored 9 raid points for the Bulls, but it was their defence that made a difference with left corner Aman picking up a High 5 (7 tackle points).
Bengaluru went into the match with just one win in six matches, but their defence was certainly tuned in for the U.P. challenge. They ensured Yoddha’s Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill had a poor outing. Yoddha can only blame their raiders for the results as their defence matched the Bulls throughout the encounter. Nitesh Kumar picked up a High 5 while Ashu Singh and Sumit picked 4 points each for U.P.
Bengaluru Bulls edged a closely contested first half that was dominated by the defences. Yoddha defence, especially right corner Nitesh Kumar, stopped Pawan Sehrawat from his natural game. But the U.P. attackers couldn’t compliment the good work done by their defence. Pardeep Narwal struggled to find space against an aggressive Bulls defence who had Saurabh Nandal returning to the starting 7.
The Bulls kept reviving Pawan Sehrawat and eventually his quality made a difference as he helped his side clinch an ALL OUT with under 5 minutes remaining. Bharat also contributed in raids as the Bulls ended the first half on a high with the scores 19-13.
UP matched the Bulls blow for blow in the early minutes of the second half. The defences once again ruled the mat as the raiders found it difficult to get going. Surender Gill thought he got a 5-point Super Raid when his hands sneaked out of a pile of Bulls defenders to the mid-line, but video replays showed he was short by a very small margin. Nitesh Kumar picked up his High 5 as UP reduced the Bulls lead to 5 points with 10 minutes to spare.
The Bulls’ corner combination curtailed Yoddha’s growing momentum after the first time out. Aman picked up his High 5 with great support from Saurabh Nandal as the Bulls extended their lead to 9 points. Surender Gill got unnecessarily involved in the defence, perhaps affected by Pardeep Narwal’s presence in the safest area of the mat and had to head to the dugout as Yoddha were staging a comeback. Pardeep’s movement on the mat left a lot to be desired and the U.P perhaps missed a trick by not substituting him for longer periods.
G.B. More’s presence on the mat added more steel to the Bulls defence as they defended their lead in the dying minutes. The win will give the Bulls much-needed confidence in their attempt to finish on top of the points table.