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 Bengaluru Bulls and UP Yoddha.

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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Bengaluru Bulls snaps its two-game winless run with a commanding performance against UP Yoddha. Pawan Sehrawat starred with nine points, but the best performer of the game was the Bulls' left corner. Coming back into the playing seven after being benched the last game, he excelled with a whopping seven tackle points. Saurabh Nandal, who also made a comeback in the starting seven, picked up three points while Bharat scored six.

Nitesh Kumar, captain of UP Yoddha, had a good game as he bagged a High-5 and scored six points. Pardeep Narwal, though, endured a miserable outing as he managed just four points in 12 raids.

The result sees Bengaluru Bulls remain second on the points table, while UP Yoddha climbs up a spot to sixth.

 

FULL-TIME! Bengaluru Bulls beats UP Yoddha 31-26.

31-26 Nitesh bags his sixth tackle point of the game as he pins Bharat on the do-or-die raid.

Pawan has been stuck on nine raid points for what seems like an eternity now!

31-24 Sahil has been brought off the bench to peg some late points for UP Yoddha. He scores off his first raid but has been taken out in his second one.

30-22 SUPER TACKLE FOR UP YODDHA! Nitesh, Ashu and Sumit combine effectively to contain the Bulls skipper.

30-20 Pardeep tries a big kick on Bharat but gets tackled instead. Pardeep's woeful outing continues.

29-20 The Bulls defence has been stellar today and picks up another point. Aman initiates the tackle with a double thigh hold and gets ample support to flatten Shrikant.

27-20 Pardeep picks up the rare point (ha, how strange does that sound?) as he evades Mohit's weak ankle hold.

Aman has brought up his High-5. He has, undoubtedly, been the pick of the Bulls defenders today.

27-19 Bharat shines once again and gets the better of Shubham.

26-19 SUPER TACKLE FOR THE BULLS! The defensive chain of Aman and GB More does really well to pin Shrikant to the mat and earn two huge points.

24-19 Sumit does well here as he traps Deepak Narwal, who came off the bench for this raid. Ten minutes left on the clock and this game could still go either way!

24-18 Shrikant comes good in the do-or-die raid as he slips out of Saurabh's ankle hold.

24-17 Pardeep's poor outing continues - he's put up two empty raids in a row. Pardeep looks slow, lacks ideas and has just been ineffective.

Oh look who's back - it's Pardeep!

24-17 HIGH-5 FOR NITESH! He launches into Pawan and executes a perfect double thigh hold.

24-16 That's really unfortunate for Surender. His valiant effort goes in vain as the TV umpire feels he did not get his hand past the mid-line.

Wow, that is something massive from Surender! The Bulls defence lands heavy on him and seem to have done enough to contain him, but Surender overpowers all of them to get his hand on the mid-line! Has he crossed the mid-line? The review will tell us. Nervous moments here!

23-16 That will serve as a morale-booster for the UP Yoddha defence. Sumit, who has had a poor game so far, lands a sharp tackle on Bharat.

23-15 Shrikanth has been sent in to raid again and he's tackled by Ankit. You have to wonder why Surender has not been given a raid yet in the second half...

21-15 Pawan targets the new man, Gaurav, and gets the better of him right away. Pawan is closing in yet another Super 10.

Alright, it looks like Pardeep's night is done! He has been substituted for Gaurav. Pardeep is on the bench and has masked up.

19-15 Shrikanth bags two points as he skips past Saurabh's ankle hold gets an easy touch on Mohit.

HALF-TIME: Bengaluru Bulls has a six-point lead at the end of an enthralling first half.

19-13 Pawan picks up a freebie bonus point on the left corner. Guess who was defending that side of the mat? Pardeep and Surender. Strange tactic from UP Yoddha.

18-12 Bharat coolly grabs another point as he executes a brilliant running hand touch on the left corner Sumit. Bharat's height is his biggest advantage and he puts it to good use.

17-12 Nitesh outsmarts Pawan yet again and picks up his fourth point of the game.

17-11 Surender's poor start continues as Saurabh and co flatten him on the mat.

16-11 Bharat has been so so instrumental in the Bulls' success this season. He's offered Pawan ample support and has just landed a fine touch on Shubham.

15-11 Pardeep scores his first point in six raids as he induces the error from Mohit.

Bengaluru Bulls has scored eight points compared to UP Yoddha's two in the last five minutes.

15-9 ALL OUT! Pawan Sehrawat cruises past the last two defenders in Ashu and Nitesh and inflicts the All Out. The Bulls now have a healthy six-point lead.

10-9 SUPER TACKLE FOR UP YODDHA! Ashu Singh grabs onto Pawan's ankle and does not let go. The Bulls skipper tries to find a way out but there's none.

10-7 GB More strikes as he gets the better of Taghi.

Pardeep has been off the court for eight minutes of the 13 that have been played.

9-7 Bharat gets the job done as he storms past Surender's tackle.

8-7 Right then, Pardeep has to jog back to the bench. Aman takes him out with a well-timed ankle hold.

It's kind of funny how each time Pawan is eliminated, Pardeep is revived and vice versa.

7-7 Pawan's frog jump fails for the second time today and he's been sent to the bench.

7-6 Surender opens his tally as he escapes GB More's ankle hold.

7-5 Pawan gets the better of Sumit once again and UP Yoddha has been reduced to three men.

6-5 It's a do-or-die for Shrikanth and he gets trapped by Aman. The left corner makes a fine diving double ankle hold and that will revive Pawan.

5-5 Nitesh is in some form today! The UP Yoddha captain lunges into a stirring double ankle hold on Bharat.

5-4 No luck for Pardeep. He looks to go over Aman in the defensive chain but is pinned to the mat.

4-4 Pawan is a little too overzealous and Nitesh does well to block him. Not a good move from Pawan, considering UP Yoddha was down to four men.

4-3 Shrikant Jadhav comes off the bench and strikes right away with a toe touch on Mohit. Pardeep has been revived.

4-2 That's lightning quick from Pawan! He lands a touch on Taghi, who barely even had any time to react.

3-2 Bharat picks up a rare tackle point as he gets the better of Surinder with a superb ankle hold.

2-2 Pawan opens his account by getting a touch on Sumit.

1-1 Pardeep has been flattened, courtesy of an ankle hold from Saurabh. That will revive Pawan.

Two back-to-back empty raids for Pardeep.

0-1 Pawan Sehrawat is taken out on his first raid by the defensive chain of Nitesh and Surinder.

0-0 Pardeep Narwal makes the first raid of the game and returns empty-handed.

Bengaluru Bulls won the toss and chose the right side of the court, UP Yoddha will raid first.

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Gujarat Giants has got two wins in two days. After beating Haryana Steelers 32-26 yesterday, Sunil Kumar's side has today defeated Maninder Singh's Bengal Warriors 34-25. This is just the sort of form Giants needed to push for a play-off spot.

8:30pm: LINE-UPS!

Bengaluru Bulls: Pawan Sehrawat (c), GB More, Mohit Sehrawat, Saurabh Nandal, Ankit, Bharat, Aman

UP Yoddha: Nitesh Kumar (c), Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, Mohammad Taghi, Sumit, Ashu, Shubham

8:24pm: In the first game of the evening between Bengal Warriors and Gujarat Giants, Maninder Singh's Warriors trail by 10 points with close to three minutes left in the game. Can the men in blue complete the comeback? In order to find out, you can follow our live coverage here: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Gujarat Giants hammers Bengal Warriors 34-25

8:20pm: Head-to-head stats: Matches played - 10, Matches won by Bengaluru Bulls - 6, Matches won by UP Yoddha - 4, Last meeting - UP Yoddha won 42-27

8:15pm: PREVIEW:

The Bengaluru Bulls was trounced 42-24 in its previous outing against the Tamil Thalaivas, its fifth defeat in six matches. Its only win during this stretch came against the Telugu Titans, which currently sits at the bottom of the points table. The Bulls have given up 38.3 points per game in their past six outings, a stat that showcases just how woeful their recent form has been. Bengaluru could find itself outside the top six on the points table if it continues on its current trajectory. It desperately needs a win to get its campaign back on track.

After winning three games on the trot, UP Yoddha has succumbed to two straight losses in its past two outings. While its offence has continued to pile points on the scoreboard, its defensive unit has been poor. In its previous outing, UP managed only two tackle points against the Puneri Paltan, the worst defensive display in the franchise’s history. Its overreliance on the raiding unit could be its undoing this season. Nitesh Kumar, Sumit and the rest of the defence need to up their game if UP is to venture deep into the playoffs this season. 

8:05pm: 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' -

8:00pm: Hello folks, welcome to our live blog of the second PKL game of the evening which will see two heavyweights clash in Bengaluru Bulls and UP Yoddha (read Pawan Sehrawat and Pardeep Narwal). 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