Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: Dabang Delhi edges Tamil Thalaivas by one point; U Mumba, Puneri Paltan march towards play-offs

While Dabang Delhi K.C had to work hard for its 32-31 win over Tamil Thalaivas, U Mumba and Puneri Paltan had comfortable 37-27 and 51-31 wins over Bengal Warriors and Telugu Titans respectively in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8) on Saturday.

Dabang Delhi K.C raider Naveen Kumar escapes the Tamil Thalaivas defence during the PKL 8 match on Saturday.   -  PKL

Naveen Kumar was the star for Dabang Delhi K.C. as it beat Tamil Thalaivas 32-31 in a closely fought match. The star raider scored 13 points for Delhi as they overcame a stiff challenge mounted by the Thalaivas in the dying minutes.

The win will help Delhi increase their chances of a top-two finish in the league stage. Thalaivas miscalculated the last raid and didn’t attempt for a bonus which could have helped them clinch two points to level the match. The result means the team from Chennai is out of the current top six and will need a flawless end to the season to keep its playoff hopes alive.

RELATED| Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Dabang Delhi defeats Tamil Thalaivas 32-31, Super 10 for Naveen

Delhi started the match on the front foot with Naveen Kumar looking ominous. He picked up easy points from the Thalaivas defence, while at the end, Manjeet did his best to keep Thalaivas within touching distance. The absence of Ajinkya Pawar hampered Thalaivas’ usual double-headed attack. The pressure finally helped Dabang Delhi clinch an All Out in the 13th minute and open an eight-point lead. Despite the gap, Thalaivas were playing well, especially captain Surjeet Singh. Delhi’s Neeraj Narwal also contributed to the raids as the first half ended with scores 17-10.

Delhi controlled the match in the early minutes of the second half despite Thalaivas upping a gear. Manjeet kept prodding the Delhi defence while Sagar also started picking form in the right corner. The momentum shifted to Thalaivas’ side in the 10th minute when three Delhi defenders went out of bounds as raider Himanshu entered the lobby without a touch. Manjeet immediately added another point to make it a three-point game and just one Delhi player on the mat.

The Thalaivas finally got an All Out with eight minutes on the clock to level the scores at 23-23. Naveen Kumar clinched his Super 10 as he continued to get the better of the Thalaivas defence. Manjeet wasn’t in a mood to let Delhi run away with the lead though. He picked up a Super 10 as his touch point helped Thalaivas level the scores with just two minutes remaining. But Manjeet Chhillar produced a clutch tackle in the final minute to send Tamil Thalaivas' Manjeet to the dugout.

Naveen then picked up a point to open a two-point lead which the Thalaivas couldn’t reduce in their last raid.

- U Mumba defeats Bengal Warriors to enter top six -

U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali had a night to remember as he marshalled the defence to beat defending champion Bengal Warriors 37-27.

RELATED| Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 LIVE: U Mumba defeats Bengal Warriors 37-27, enters top six

The “Sultan” clinched a High 5 (eight Tackle Points) in a remarkable game of Kabaddi where he sometimes single-handedly stopped opposition defender Maninder Singh from scoring. Right corner Rinku aided his captain with a High 5 (five tackle points) while the Mumbai raiding duo of Ajith Kumar (nine points) and Abhishek Singh (eight points) ensured the points came in from the other side of the mat as well. The win will help Mumbai’s chances of making it to the Season 8 playoffs while Bengal Warriors looks unlikely to get an opportunity to defend its title.

The defences dominated the early minutes of the match with both Mumbai and Bengal taking an aggressive stance on the mat. Maninder Singh struggled to register a single point in the first 10 minutes as Mumbai took an early lead. But the defending champion shifted the balance of the match with a three-point Super Raid by Manoj Gowda in the 11th minute. That gave Bengal the numerical advantage but Mumbai didn’t make the All Out easy.

Ajith Kumar kept finding errors in the Warriors defence while Rinku pulled off a stunning Super Tackle. Bengal finally got their All Out in the 17th minute when Maninder Singh evaded tackles from two defenders to cross the mid-line. That levelled the scores at 14-14. Maninder then clinched another two-point raid to give Bengal a slender lead. But Mumbai captain Fazel Atrachali tackled Maninder successfully in the last move of the first half to send the Bengal captain to the dugout. At halftime, Bengal led by a solitary point (17-16).

Mumbai came all guns blazing in the second half and clinched an All Out in the fifth minute. Their defenders were hungry with Fazel Atrachali leading the line and securing a personal High 5. The team opened up an eight-point in the process and ensured that the gap stayed the same till the 10th minute. Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar kept finding easy points for Mumbai as the game slowly shifted away from Bengal. The Warriors looked unorganised in the defence and toothless in attack as the lead became 10 points with five minutes on the clock.

Rinku also secured his High 5 as U Mumba gave Bengal Warriors no chance to even reduce the lead. It won the match with a margin of 10 points to increase its playoff chances. Bengal remains 11th on the table and is unlikely to qualify for the playoffs with just two matches remaining.

- Puneri Paltan thrashes Telugu Titans -

In the final match of the evening, Puneri Paltan put up a dominant performance in both offense and defence to beat Telugu Titans 51-31.

While raiders Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat both scored Super 10s, both corner defenders Sombir and Vishal clinched High 5s.

Puneri Paltan started the match strongly and had a seven-point lead with the scores 22-15 at half-time.

RELATED| Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Puneri Paltan thrashes Telugu Titans 51-31, Super 10s for Aslam, Mohit

The second half followed a similar script with Paltan scoring raid points for fun eventually resulting in a 20-point win which took them to seventh place on the points table.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :