Neeraj Kumar and Mohammedreza Shadloui picked up high-fives in the game.

A well-balanced Patna Pirates team once again showed why they are early season favourites for a playoff spot by thrashing an in-form U Mumba side 43-23 in Match 47 of vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Patna dominated from the first minute with their defenders Neeraj Kumar and Mohammadreza Shadloui picking High 5s. All their players contributed in a win that helped the Pirates move to the top of the points table ahead of Dabang Delhi K.C.

U Mumba went into the match without the services of the star raider Ajith Kumar. The lack of confidence in the raiding department affected the balance of the whole team. Abhishek Singh struggled to compensate with the points as Patna Pirates tackled aggressively. At the other end, Mumbai’s corner defenders Fazel Atrachali and Rinku made uncanny errors. Patna inflicted their first ALL OUT in the 6th minute of the match as Monu Goyat and Sachin found mistakes in the Mumbai defence. The Pirates opened a 7-point lead but continued putting pressure on Mumbai.

Ashish Sangwan produced a Super Tackle for Mumbai to give a glimmer of hope, but the lack of raiding options kept affecting the Season 2 champions. Sachin thought he got the Pirates their second ALL OUT in the last raid of the half of the PKL encounter, but Rinku dished out a stunning one-man Super Tackle to delay it. The first half of the PKL encounter ended 19-9 with the Pirates in the lead.

Patna got their second ALL OUT in the first minute after the restart with Neeraj Kumar securing a High 5. The three-time champions were clearly in no mood to slip up and continued to dominate in all departments. Patna started killing the time with slow raids while Iranian Mohammadreza Shadloui ensured their left corner remained safe.

U Mumba dominated the 5 minutes after the first Time Out to come close to an ALL OUT but Mohammadreza Shadloui produced a Super Tackle to stop them. Pirates captain Prashanth Kumar Rai then got a 2-point raid to bring more Pirates on to the mat. They had a 15-point lead heading into the last 5 minutes and the Pirates pulled out two stunning Super Tackles to put salt on Mumba’s wounds. The win helped the Pirates move to the top of the PKL 8 points table.

Gujarat dominate Titans

Rakesh was once again the star for Gujarat Giants as they outclassed Telugu Titans 40-22 in Match 48 of vivo Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Rakesh scored a Super 10 (16 points) for the Giants while Parvesh Bhainswal picked up 4 tackle points. Telugu Titans’ lack of a leader in defence was the major difference with raider Rajnish doing his best with a 12-point performance. The team are without a win in Season 8 and remain at the bottom of the points table. 

Gujarat started without their experienced corner duo of Ravinder Pahal and Girish Ernak in the line-up. Titans, already missing the seasoned raiders Rohit Kumar and Siddharth Desai, didn’t have Sandeep Kandola starting with young Muhammed Shihas taking his place. Not so surprisingly, the first half belonged to raiders with so many changes in the defence. Gujarat’s Rakesh produced the first Super Raid (3 points) of the match in the 8th minute to initiate their attempt for an ALL OUT. The Giants finally got it with 8 minutes remaining for the interval to open a 7-point lead.

Titans’ Rajnish kept picking valuable raid points, but his team failed to support him in defence. Gujarat’s Rakesh has been their standout performer in Season 8, and he pulled out a “dubki” close to the interval to get another 3-point Super Raid. Rakesh picked up his Super 10 as Gujarat ended the first half on top with scores 20-13. Titans had just one successful tackle in the entire half.

Rakesh and Mahendra Rajput kept getting raid points as the game was played at a slow pace after restart. Rajnish clinched his Super 10 as Titans sensed a potential comeback but Rathan K. clinched a Super Tackle and a raid point to restore parity on the mat. Gujarat kept closing all doors to a Titans comeback with Parvesh Bhainswal also clinching a Super Tackle with a well-timed dash on Ankit Beniwal. The team from Gujarat had an 11-point lead with 5 minutes remaining and they carried that momentum to inflict another ALL OUT in the final minutes to seal their second win of the season.

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