Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: Patna Pirates, three-time champion, becomes first team to qualify for play-offs

Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 43-26 to become the first team to seal a play-off berth in the eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8).

Three-time champion Patna Pirates is the most successful team in the Pro Kabaddi League's history.   -  Special Arrangement

Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 43-26 to become the first team to seal a play-off berth in the eighth season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8).

Guman Singh stole the show as he scored 13 points for the three-time champion and ensured the side remained at the top of the table. Aslam Inamdar scored nine points for Puneri Paltan but all his points came in the first half. Patna Pirates had just a one-point advantage at half-time but two second-half All Outs saw the side increase that lead to 17 points by the final whistle.

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Puneri Paltan started the match on the front foot with the raiding duo of Aslam Inamdar and Mohit in good form. The side was closing in on an early All Out when it was stumped by a moment of misfortune. Four defenders followed Patna Pirates raider Sachin into the lobby without a touch and were hence eliminated. The stroke of luck helped Patna Pirates gain the upper hand and it clinched an All Out in the 17th minute.

Guman’s three-point Super Raid increased the lead, but Aslam immediately changed the complexion of the game with a massive four-point Super Raid. The first half ended 18-17 with Patna Pirates holding on to a slender lead.

Patna Pirates maintained a three-point lead with 10 minutes on the clock and Puneri Paltan needed a big raid to level the scores. However, Guman struck again with a two-point raid to ensure his side remained ahead. The Pirates then produced a team tackle on Nitin Tomar to yank him away before his hand crossed the mid-line. That gave the the side another All Out and a seven-point lead with five minutes remaining.

Guman got his Super 10 and Sachin bagged a two-point raid to clean up the Puneri Paltan defence and clinch another All Out. That gave Patna Pirates an unassailable 17-point lead and a massive win.

- Bengal Warriors and Dabang Delhi share the spoils -

Defending champion Bengal Warriors held Dabang Delhi to an entertaining 39-39 tie in the first game of the evening. Dabang Delhi seemed to have sealed the win when Naveen Kumar picked a three-point Super Raid in the final minute, but Manjeet Chhillar’s unsuccessful tackle allowed Bengal Warriors to stay in the match and secure a tie.

Captain Maninder Singh was the best performer for Bengal Warriors with 16 points while Naveen also picked up 16 points. The result will not help Bengal Warriors as it struggles to stay in contention for a play-off spot, while Dabang Delhi climbed to the second spot.

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The defending champion got off to a good start as Maninder picked up points for fun. Jeeva Kumar struggled in the cover position while Dabang Delhi’s corner combination of Joginder Narwal and Sandeep Narwal also lacked cohesion. Maninder took both the corners out with a two-point raid in the fourth minute and the move saw Bengal Warriors clinch an All Out in the seventh minute.

Bengal Warriors could not cling capitalise on the four-point lead as Vijay and Naveen struck back. With Mohammad Nabibakhsh not in the line-up, Bengal Warriors struggled to revive Maninder and that allowed Dabang Delhi to control the proceedings and it secured an All Out in the 19th minute to take the lead at the interval.

Maninder began the second half well and Bengal Warriors got closer to inflicting another All Out. Joginder's brilliant wrist hold on Maninder could only delay the inevitable as Bengal Warriors secured the All Out in the 28th minute. Maninder scored a Super 10 but Dabang Delhi was still within touching distance thanks to the numerous bonus points the side had picked up.

Naveen brought up his Super 10 and then clinched a massive three-point Super Raid to put his side ahead and chance to inflict an All Out, but Rohit Gowda pulled off a stunning two-point raid to rescue Bengal Warriors. Naveen managed to get a quick point to level the scores once again, but Bengal Warriors prevented an All Out in the final raid to settle for a tie.

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