Abhishek Singh scored 10 points for U Mumba in the match.

U Mumba beat Tamil Thalaivas 35-33 on Day 7 in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8’s Rivalry Week. Thalaivas fought valiantly after a dismal first half to make it a close affair in the final minutes. But Mumbai’s captain Fazel Atrachali marshalled his defence well to ensure they walked away with all 5 points in the race for a playoff spot.

Abhishek Singh scored 10 points for Mumbai while defenders Rinku, Fazel Atrachali and Rahul Sethpal had 3 points each. Thalaivas raiders Manjeet and Ajinkya Pawar had 7 points each. 

The first half was completely dominated by U Mumba with their raiders Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar finding east points from a disjointed Tamil defence. Abhishek’s hand touches gave Mumbai an early lead, but Sagar’s Super Tackle helped Thalaivas stay in the PKL 8 match. But Ajith Kumar, playing against his former team, donned the secondary raider role to perfection and ensured Mumbai got their first ALL OUT in the 9th minute to open a 6-point lead. The raiders continued their good work while the defenders also stepped for U Mumba.  

Rahul Sethpal was an important cog in that defence. Their corners Fazel Atrachali and Rinku were also nearly flawless. Thalaivas’ raiders Manjeet and Ajinkya Pawar had no luck against a well-oiled Mumbai defence. 

Abhishek Singh’s heroic 3-point Super Raid paved way for another ALL OUT with 4 minutes remaining for the interval. Thalaivas had no control in the first – perhaps best summed by captain Surjeet’s bizarre decision to go in for a raid and not cross the touchline thereby making it an illegal raid. The scores were 26-11 at the interval with Mumbai clearly on top. 

The 15-point gap didn’t dampen the spirits of the Tamil team as they started the second half on the front foot. A combination Super Tackle on Abhishek Singh followed by a 2-point raid by Manjeet changed the direction of the wind. Ajinkya Pawar then got a 2-point raid (+2 for ALL OUT) to complete the clean-up act and further reduce Mumbai’s lead. Thalaivas continued to push hard as they smelled the possibility of taking the lead. Ajinkya Pawar’s 2-point raid in the 15th minute of the PKL match made it a 4-point game and gave Thalaivas the chance to inflict another ALL OUT.  

But Mumbai’s Fazel Atrachali and Harendra Kumar clinched 2 successful tackles to take the match away from Thalaivas’ grasp. U Mumba will breathe a huge sigh of relief after almost squandering a 15-point lead. The win will also help the Season 2 champions improve their chances of a playoff spot. 

Surender Gill’s clever raids helped Yoddha stage a remarkable comeback

Raider Surender Gill helped U.P. Yoddha beat Telugu Titans 39-35 on Day 7 in PKL Season 8’s Rivalry Week. The Telugu Titans had a 4-point lead going into the final five minutes of the match, but Surender Gill’s clever raids helped Yoddha stage a remarkable comeback. The raider scored a Super 10 (12 points) and was ably supported by his partner Shrikant Jadhav (9 points).

The win helped U.P. halt their 4-match losing streak and remain in contention for a playoff spot. Telugu Titans will only have themselves to blame for the loss after their raider Rajnish had put them in a position of advantage with a Super 10 (13 points). 

Telugu Titans had Rajnish and Ankit Beniwal back on the mat and that certainly inspired them to start the match with all guns blazing. The duo kept pushing the U.P. defence to mistakes as the Titans looked in the mood to compete. But Yoddha and their star raider Surender Gill were not in a mood to give up. They fought back valiantly and soon took control of the match. Shrikant Jadhav also chipped in with valuable raid points as they secured an ALL OUT in the 15th minute to open a 3-point lead. 

The Titans, placed bottom of the PKL points table, were playing for pride and they immediately wiped off the points gap. Rajnish raced to 9 raid points while substitute Adarsh T contributed with clever raids in Super Tackle situations. They inflicted an ALL OUT in the final raid of the half to secure a 4-point lead. The first half ended 22-18. 

The lead kept see-sawing between the teams in the early minutes of the second half. U.P. Yoddha leveled the scores immediately after the restart with Shrikant Jadhav powerful in his raids. But a stunning Super Tackle by Prince on Surender Gill once again paved way for a brief period of Telugu dominance. Rajnish got his Super 10 as they maintained a 4-point gap with 10 minutes remaining. Adarsh clinched a 2-point raid in a Do-or-Die situation to further improve the Titans’ lead in the PKL match. 

But Surender Gill showed why he is considered one of the best raiders in kabaddi with quick raid points. He picked up his Super 10 and made it just a 1-point game with 2 minutes remaining. That also gave U.P. the momentum to inflict an ALL OUT to gain a 3-point lead. The lead proved too much for the Titans to overcome as they succumbed to another morale-depleting loss.

Haryana Steelers win against Jaipur Pink Panthers 

Haryana Steelers continued their winning run as they beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 35-28 in the PKL Season 8. The match went right down to the wire as both teams were engaged in a hard-fought battle till the final whistle. But skipper Vikash Kandola led from the front once again as he earned 10 raid points in the match to help the team’s cause, and Haryana Steelers managed to pick up a thrilling win.

The Steelers got off to a bright start with captain Vikash Kandola opening the scoring with a touchpoint and then completing another successful raid two minutes later to make it 3-3 in the 4th minute. With his third successful raid, Vikash Kandola gave Haryana Steelers a 4-3 lead, a minute later.

In the 10th minute, Haryana Steelers inflicted an All Out on Jaipur Pink Panthers to extend their lead to 11-7. With 5 minutes left on the clock, Ashish Narwal earned a successful raid to get two touchpoints. Mohit earned a successful tackle in the final minute of the first half as Haryana Steelers reached halftime with a 18-14 lead.

Haryana Steelers got off to a slow start in the 2nd half, but Vikash Kandola managed to get a successful raid in the 23rd minute to increase their lead to 20-16. Jaipur Pink Panthers managed to close down the gap in the next minute with a successful Super Tackle on Vikash Kandola, and by the 25th minute, the score was levelled at 20-20. Mohit earned a successful tackle point in the 29th minute as Haryana Steelers managed to regain their lead. 

Vikash Kandola was unsuccessful in a raid attempt in the 31st minute and the scores became levelled against at 23-23 in the 31st minute. 
Haryana Steelers’ Mohit earned a successful tackle in the 35th minute as the scoreline remained tied at 26-26 with five minutes left on the clock. With two minutes left, Vikash Kandola earned a bonus point on a raid and Haryana Steelers took the lead again to make it 29-27. In the next minute, Ravi earned a successful Super Tackle as Haryana Steelers made it 31-28.

In the final minute, Vikash Kandola earned another successful raid point to get his 7th Super 10 of the season, and Haryana Steelers won the match 35-28.

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