PKL 8: UP trounce Mumbai, Bengaluru thrash Haryana
UP Yoddha confirm play-off spot after beating U Mumba.
U.P. Yoddha’s resolute defence and game management helped them beat U Mumba 35-28 in match 124 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8. The win clinched them a spot in the Season 8 playoffs. Surender Gill was U.P.’s top-scorer with 8 points with defenders Ashu Singh, Shubham Kumar and Sumit picking 3 points each. The loss meant curtains for Mumbai’s campaign. They became the 4th team to fall out of the playoffs race. Mumbai’s raiders Ajith Kumar and Abhishek Singh could not find a way past a well-oiled U.P. defence marshalled by captain Nitesh Kumar.
U Mumba needed a win to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot but it was Yoddha who started on the front foot. Pardeep Narwal scored a 3-point Super Raid in their first raid of the match to set the tone. One could see the desperation in the Mumbai defence as they made unnecessary mistakes. A
Ajith Kumar’s 2-point raid in the 8th minute gave them a mini-revival but Yoddha kept piling on the pressure. Both defences opted for aggressive positioning on the mat and as a result, the raiders struggled for bonus points. Rinku’s Super Tackle on Pardeep Narwal with 3 minutes remaining to half time helped them stay close to Yoddha.
But Surender Gill kept chipping in with important raid points and revivals as Yoddha inflicted an ALL OUT with 1 minute to half time. That opened an 8-point lead. Mumbai tackled Pardeep Narwal in the last move of the half and entered the break with the scores 18-12.
Mumbai approached the mat with greater intensity in the second half. They tackled every U.P. raider who came their way. Abhishek Singh also got in the act with a 2-point raid that helped Mumbai clinch an ALL OUT in the 7th minute after the restart. Mumbai’s left corner Rinku picked up his High 5 as Mumbai levelled the scores (20-20). Surender Gill thought he gave Yoddha an advantage with a 3-point Super Raid with 10 minutes remaining. But Ajinkya Kapre immediately wiped its effect away with a 2-point raid for U Mumba.
Mumbai sustained their aggressive defence with Fazel Atrachali and Rahul Sethpal also contributing to the points. With 5 minutes remaining in the PKL game, the scores were 27-26 with Mumbai leading by a solitary point.
Substitute Shrikant Jadhav picked up important raid points for U.P. as they opened a 3-point lead with a minute remaining. That changed the momentum once again. Mumbai could not find a way past the Yoddha defence in the dying minutes and needed 3 points to tie the match in the final move of the match. Surender Gill had other ideas and clinched a 4-point raid to inflict an ALL OUT.
Bengaluru Bulls put up a convincing display against Haryana Steelers.
Pawan Sehrawat’s stellar performance guided Bengaluru Bulls to a 46-24 victory against Haryana Steelers in match 125 of PKL 8. The Bulls desperately needed a win to stay in contention for a playoff spot and their captain delivered on cue.
The “high flyer” scored 20 points (which included 7 tackle points) with a dominant second-half performance that took the match completely away from the Steelers. Haryana missed out on an opportunity to secure a playoff berth with the loss and will now have to beat table-toppers Patna Pirates in their final league match. Bengaluru completed all of their 22 games and now they will wait for other results to learn their fate.
The defences dominated the first half with both sets of raiders struggling to any impact. The Steelers had no raid points in 15 minutes as the Bulls tackled relentlessly. Even their raiders Bharat, Pawan Sehrawat and Chandran Ranjit contributed with tackle points as they pushed for an ALL OUT. Haryana’s defence did try their level best to keep the team in the game.
Surender Nada picked up 3 quick tackle points from the left corner in the early minutes. Vijay Kumar also initiated a wonderful Super Tackle on Bharat to keep Haryana in the hunt.
With 3 minutes remaining to halftime, Ashish produced a 3-point Super Raid which could have led to a mini-revival. But Bharat’s raids and the Bulls’ high-pressure defence finally helped them clinch an ALL OUT in the last minute of the first half. That opened a healthy lead for Bengaluru as Haryana looked for immediate solutions. The scores were 20-14 in their favour at the break
Pawan Sehrawat switched gears as he started dominating the raids in the second half. Bharat also contributed as they inflicted another ALL OUT in the 7th minute to widen their lead to 11 points during the PKL match. Haryana coach Rakesh Kumar introduced Meetu in the second half to bolster the attack but he also struggled against a switched-on Bulls defence. The lead was 12 points with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
Pawan Sehrawat produced a Super Tackle with 6 minutes remaining to ensure the Bulls maintained a 12-point gap. They kept on piling the pressure and improved the lead to 16 points. Pawan secured his Super 10 and the men from Bengaluru inflicted another ALL OUT in the last raid of the match to get themselves a 22-point win.