Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Shyam Vasudevan and I will be taking you through today's PKL 8 match between Bengal Warriors and Gujarat Giants.
That brings us to the end of our Pro Kabaddi League coverage for the day. We will be back tomorrow. See you then!
Meanwhile, you can also check out our Kings of Kabaddi series from PKL 7 - a happier time pre-COVID when we got to physically sit down with some of the biggest names in the league and hear their stories. You can check out all episodes here:
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Gujarat Giants picks up its second win on the trot to hand defending champion Bengal Warriors a nine-point thrashing. The Giants defence stepped up when it mattered and the raiding duo of Ajay Kumar and Pardeep Kumar bagged 16 points between themselves to power the side to a comprehensive win.
We're not done yet! We have a massive game in store as Pawan Sehrawat's Bengaluru Bulls takes on Pardeep Narwal's UP Yoddha. Join me on the blog here - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Pawan, Aman propel Bengaluru Bulls to 31-26 win over UP Yoddha
FULL-TIME: Gujarat Giants earns a massive nine-point win over Bengal Warriors.
25-34 Maninder is tackled in the last raid of the game and the Giants have done it!
24-33 Ajay is dashed off the mat by Nabibakhsh. With only 43 seconds left, Ajay will miss his Super 10 but he won't be to upset about it as his side is closing in on a win.
22-33 Parvesh initiates the tackle and the rest of the Giants swoop in to pin Ravindra to the mat.
Gujarat Giants oach Manpreet Singh tells his side strictly to make no advanced tackles.
22-32 Maninder brushes aside Girsh's tackle and picks up a bonus too. The skipper does well to reduce his side's deficit but they'll need a lot more of those if they are to make a comeback.
20-32 Pardeep has all but put this game beyond doubt. He gets the better of Ran and Amit to give his side a massive 12-point lead.
20-30 Parvesh is at it again and he gets rid of the dangerous Nabibakhsh. The Giants have a 10-point lead now.
Bengal Warriors coach BC Ramesh wants his team to conserve its energy and in particular wants Ravindra to make deep raids.
Gujarat Giants has a nine-point lead with just about five minutes left on the clock. Can Manpreet Singh's side see through the win?
20-29 Ravindra now shines in defence as he traps Rakesh with a strong ankle hold.
19-29 Ravindra gets the better of the big man in Pardeep to ensure his side remains in the game.
18-29 Ajay strikes big once again and he's got Vishal Mane and Ran Singh! What a fantastic game Ajay is having.
18-27 That's simply superb from Parvesh. He leaps ahead and grab hold of Maninder's ankle.
Oh and Ran Singh has picked up a High-5. This is his first High-5 of the season.
18-26 Rakesh Narwal bags the bonus but gets taken out by the Warriors defence. That will revive Maninder.
17-25 Dashed out is Maninder! Pardeep and Ajay spear Maninder off the court.
17-24 That's stunning game awareness from Nabibakhsh. He goes after Ajay on a pursuit raid and lands a kick on the latter's thigh. Clever play from the Iranian.
16-24 Maninder gets into the thick of things as he evades Sunil's tackle.
15-24 Ajay Kumar picks up two more points to take his tally to seven points.
15-22 ALL OUT! One Iranian gets the better of the other as Hadi tackles Nabibakhsh to inflict the All Out. The Giants have stormed to a seven-point lead.
14-19 The Warriors are down to one last man - Nabibakhsh. Can he save the side from an All Out?
13-18 RAKESH NARWAL WITH A SUPER RAID! He gets rid of the entire left side of the Bengal Warriors defence in one tackle! He eliminates Ran Singh, Vishal Mane and Amit Nirwal. Amazing work from Rakesh.
Can you believe we have had no All Outs yet?
13-15 SUPER TACKLE FOR THE GIANTS! Hadi makes a massive double ankle hold and gets the support from Rakesh to earn two huge points. The Giants escape another All Out and are in the lead again!
13-13 Amit Nirwal comes up with a fine thigh hold to tackle Ajay and open his account.
HALF-TIME: Gujarat Giants has a slender one-point lead at the end of a cagey opening half.
12-13 Ravindra Kumavat picks up his first point of the game in the last raid of the half with a running hand touch on Parvesh.
11-13 Ajay has been entrusted with the do-or-die raid he delvers in style as he leaps over Abozar! That was a textbook Pawan Sehrawat move!
11-12 SUPER TACKLE FOR THE GIANTS! Sunil and Ajay combine effectively to stop Maninder and earn two massive points at the cusp of half-time.
11-10 That's ruthless from Abozar! Ran Singh initiates the tackle with an ankle hold and Abozar races from the right to shove Pardeep off the mat.
Ravinder Pahal seems to have hurt his knee severely and us unlikely to play today. His knee is heavily strapped and he clearly seems to be in pain.
9-10 Sublime stuff from Ajay. He goes for the bonus, slips out of Nabibakhsh's ankle hold and gets past Vishal too on his way back. That's one way to score in a do-or-die raid raid!
9-8 Excellent raiding from Nabibakhsh. The Iranian's pace has the Giants scampering for cover and he lands a running hand touch on Rakesh.
8-8 Ajay gets the better of the mighty Ran Singh as he slips out the latter's ankle hold.
8-7 Third time lucky for Maninder! He goes in for his third do-or-die raid and escapes this time with two points.
6-7 SUPER TACKLE FROM RAN SINGH! That is a monstrous tackle as Ran darts from the left and takes out Pardeep with a phenomenal back hold.
3-7 THAT IS MASSIVE FROM PARDEEP! He slips through the thigh hold and two other defenders to pick u three points. That's the first SUPER RAID of the game!
3-4 Rakesh Narwal puts the Giants ahead for the first time today as he gets rid of Nabibakhsh.
3-3 Another do-or-die raid and Maninder has to go back to the bench again! Hadi does really well to tackle the Warriors skipper.
Ravinder Pahal seems to have hurt his knee. He has been ushered off the mat and is getting medical attention.
3-2 Ran Singh gets his first point of the game as he tackles Ajay. That will big Maninder back on the mat.
2-2 Do-or-die raid and Ravinder Pahal gets the better of Maninder!
2-1 Ajay Kumar opens Gujarat Giants' account with a bonus point.
2-0 Maninder Singh with the first raid and he strikes big! He gets rid of the two key defenders in Girish and the Gujarat captain Sunil.
Gujarat Giants won the toss and chose the left side of the court, Bengal Warriors will raid first.
7:30pm: TEAM NEWS!
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Amit Nirwal, Vishal Mane, Ravindra Kumawat, Mohammad Nabibakhsh, Abozar Mighani, Ran Singh
Gujarat Giants: Sunil Kumar, Pardeep Kumar, Rakesh Narwal, Parvesh Bhainswal, Ravinder Pahal, Girish Ernak, Ajay Kumar
7:20pm: Bengal Warriors and Gujarat Giants' head-to-head is tied at 2-2 after five matches. The two teams have shared the spoils once. This season's first meeting between the two sides finished in a 28-26 win for the Warriors.
7:10pm: Bengal Warriors is unbeaten in its last five games with four wins and a tie and has climbed to the fifth spot on the points table. Skipper Maninder Singh has scored 68 points and four Super 10s in those five matches and has been the star for the Warriors throughout the campaign. The much-maligned Bengal defence had a great outing against the Jaipur Pink Panthers in their previous game - it held Jaipur’s offence to 18 raid points and also scoring ten tackle points. Things are looking good for the Warriors and they will be keen to keep the momentum going.
7pm: Gujarat Giants registered an impressive 32-26 win over the Haryana Steelers yesterday and closed the gap to the top to eight points. Ajay Kumar and Pardeep Kumar combined for 20 raid points and gave up only four tackle points to the Steelers’ defence, which proved to be the difference on the night. Gujarat’s experienced defence has been the side's Achilles heel this season, but going by how well they played against the Steelers, it looks like they are finally finding their rhythm.
6:50pm: The 2022 edition of the Sportstar Aces Awards is back and we are celebrating the marvellous year for Indian Sports that 2021 was. From Neeraj Chopra and the other Olympic and Paralympic medallists to the Indian cricket team, we have a bunch of nominees who need your vote to win! Support your favourite athlete/team here .
6:40pm: If you've just hopped on the PKL train, fret not, we have you covered. Here's a simple explainer that covers all the rules of the game and the various terms such as 'All Out', 'Do-or-die' and 'Super Tackle' -
6:30pm: Hello folks, it's good to be back to covering the PKL! The defending champion will be in action today as Bengal Warriors takes on Gujarat Giants. Before we get to that, here's a recap of what went down in the PKL in the last fortnight - PKL notebook: Swift rescheduling saves the League