PKL Season 8: Gujarat hold Delhi to a tie, Bengaluru beat Bengal
Raiders secured most points for the the Manpreet Singh’s team.
A last-second blunder from the experienced cover defender Ravinder Pahal allowed Dabang Delhi K.C.’s Naveen Kumar to secure a raid point landing a 24-24 tie for his side against Gujarat Giants. Delhi’s star raider once again secured a Super 10 (11 points), his third in three matches of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 – but the team were lucky to escape with a tie after another match filled with mistakes from their defence.
Gujarat will only have themselves to blame after Rakesh Sanrogya and Rakesh Narwal had opened up a chance for them to win the encounter against PKL Season 7 runners-up.
Despite the focus on Gujarat’s defence, it was the raiders who secured the most points for the Giants in a closely fought first half of this PKL match. Rakesh Narwal and Rakesh Sanrogya picked easy points of the Delhi defence who once again gave starts to seniors Ajay Thakur and Manjeet Chhillar despite very little contributions from them in the previous matches.
Delhi’s Naveen Kumar ensured the Gujarat Giants didn’t open up any lead, picking three points from his first three raids while sending the covers Girish Ernak and Ravinder Pahal to the dugout. The first 15 minutes only saw 1 successful tackle, each from both sides. There were no ALL OUTS in the first half as it ended 12-11 in favour of Dabang Delhi K.C.
The teams continued to trade blows in the early minutes of the second half. Gujarat had no answers to Naveen Kumar’s raids but Delhi’s defence kept imploding thanks to unsuccessful tackles from Manjeet Chhillar and Jeeva Kumar. Naveen clinched his Super 10, three in three matches of Season 8, in the 5th minute of the half.
Coach Manpreet Singh’s wise words to his defence seemed to have worked magic as the Gujarat defence finally managed to get Naveen Kumar out with less than 10 minutes in the clock. Brilliant raiding by Rakesh Sanrogya and Rakesh Narwal kept the Giants in pace with Delhi. But Vijay quickly managed to revive Naveen Kumar with a touchpoint and followed it up with an effective charge on Rakesh to give Delhi a slender lead in the 14th minute of the second half.
Rakesh’s effective kick had given Gujarat a one-point lead going into the last raid but a blunder from Ravinder Pahal, who went in for an early thigh hold on Naveen Kumar, handed Delhi a tie in this PKL match.
Pawan Sehrawat shines in Bengaluru’s win over Bengal
Pawan Sehrawat and the Bengaluru Bulls produced an all-around performance to beat defending champions Bengal Warriors 36-35 in a neck-to-neck PKL Season 8 match.
He scored 15 points for the Bulls who won the match due to a last-minute two-point raid by South Korean Dong-Geon Lee. Bengal will only have themselves to blame after being given a good start by captain Maninder Singh who scored 17 points. Abozar Mighani’s mistakes however proved too costly for Season 7 champions.
Maninder Singh and Pawan Sehrawat ensured it was a day to remember for fantastic Kabaddi raids in a high-scoring first half where the Bulls matched the Warriors blow for blow.
The game started with Bengal in the front foot with Maninder’s raw strength a big challenge for the Bengaluru defence. The raider pulled off a massive Super Raid in the 8th minute of the match to take out 4 Bulls defenders and clinch the defending champions their first ALL OUT of the match. Maninder also clinched his Super 10 in the first half.
But Bengaluru refused to let their shoulders drop despite trailing by 8 points and slowly regained momentum. Pawan Sehrawat who spent around 8 minutes of the first 15 in the dugout then showed the world why he is regarded as a top raider with 7-points (5+2 points for a Super Raid) to wipe out the Warriors defence for an ALL OUT close to half-time. The first half ended 18-17 with the Bulls in the lead.
Mohammad Nabibakhsh ensured Pawan Sehrawat started the second half with an unsuccessful raid in the first half with the Indian women’s Kabaddi team watching from the fan wall. But Bengal failed to capitalise and soon Pawan return to get his Super 10. Aman, playing his first season of PKL, then produced a stellar ankle hold on Maninder, to reduce Bengal to just 2 men on the mat. The bulls got their ALL OUT in the 12th minute of the half to make the scores 28-21 but Bengal showed their warrior spirit to immediately clawback. Maninder scored 2 points in a raid, while Nabibakhsh picked up a raid point and then tackled Pawan Sehrawat successfully.
The Irani all-rounder led the charge that saw the Warriors clinch another ALL OUT with five minutes in the clock to narrow the Bulls’ lead to just one point (31-30). But Bulls coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat proved why he is considered the best in the business by bringing in Dong-Geon Lee. The South Korean produced a 2-point raid by targeting Bengal’s right corner. The Warriors could only get 1 point in the last raid to lose the match by the narrowest margin.