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 semifinal match between Patna Pirates and UP Yoddha.

That brings us to the end of our Pro Kabaddi League coverage for the day. We will be back for Friday's final. See you then!

Meanwhile, you can also check out our Future Kings of Kabaddi series starring Puneri Paltan's ace raider Aslam Inamdar here:

Before you leave, do take some time to vote for your favourite athletes/teams in the 2022 Sportstar Aces Awards. CLICK HERE TO VOTE

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Patna Pirates storms into the PKL 8 final as it ousts UP Yoddha 38-27. UP Yoddha was no match for Patna Pirates, which was no match for a rampaging Patna Pirates side. The Pirates are now through to the final and are on course for a record fourth PKL title!

We now head into the second semifinal of the day as last season's runner-up Dabang Delhi takes on season six champion Bengaluru Bulls! Join me on he blog here - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Semifinal 2 Highlights: Dabang Delhi beats Bengaluru Bulls 40-35, cruises into PKL 8 final

 

FULL-TIME! Patna Pirates beats UP Yoddha 38-27 to qualify for the PKL 8 final.

Strange to see this...Surender is not even attempting to score a point. Looks like UP Yoddha has simply thrown in the towel.

38-27 Sachin scores his seventh point of the game and the Pirates lead by 11.

37-27 Shrikant errs under pressure and that has to be the game. Shadloui claims another point and the Pirates seem to have booked their slot in Friday's final.

36-27 Sachin picks up a point and gives his side a nine-pint lead with just over a minute left.

35-27 Monu steps up when he was needed the most as he tackles Pardeep with a superb double thigh hold.

Patna Pirates will look to kill the clock now...a lot to do for UP Yoddha!

34-27 ALL OUT FOR PATNA PIRATES! Pardeep inflicts the All Out and it's now a seven-point game! Can UP Yoddha pull off a miraculous comeback?

34-23 Some rapid raiding from Shrikant has reduced Patna Pirates to two men!

34-21 Shrikant earns his eighth point of the game - he has been UP Yoddha's best raider today and he wasn't even in the starting seven!

34-20 UP Yoddha with a rare tackle point as Sumit shoves Sachin off the mat.

33-18 Shadloui is off to the bench for the first time today as Shrikant gets the better of him. The Pirates lead by 15 now with eight minutes to go.

Shadloui has just brought up his 10th High-5 of the season - the most by any defender in PKL history.

32-17 Pardeep's miserable evening gets worse as he's taken out by Shadloui. That's a HIGH-5 FOR SHADLOUI!

"No advanced tackles now. Slow the game down," says Patna Pirates coach Ram Mehar Singh. H adds that he will pick the starting seven for the final based on this performance!

Pardeep has managed all of three points in 30 minutes of play and Patna Pirates now has a solid 14-point lead. It's now or never for the Dubki King and team!

31-17 Pardeep forces Neeraj to step out of bounds and earns himself a point. The Pirates defence tackled Pardeep, but since Neeraj was off bounds and played a role in the tackle, the point goes to UP Yoddha. 

31-16 Pardeep lands a touch in the right corner...that's just his third point of the game!

31-14 ALL OUT x3 FOR PATNA PIRATES! Patna Pirates now leads by 17 points and has been absolutely relentless! UP Yoddha is crumbling and how .

27-13 It cannot get closer than that! Shrikant falls short of the mid-line by a mere millimeter and has to head back to the bench. Had he got past the mid-line, it would have been at least three points!

26-11 SUPER TACKLE FOR UP YODDHA! The UP Yoddha defence has managed six tackle points and all of them have come from Super Tackles. Shrikant does well to earn his side two much-needed points.

26-9 Guman grabs a touch on Ashu with a spell-binding running hand touch and UP Yoddha is staring at yet another All Out!

25-9 Dubki attended, but not to be! Pardeep nearly beat as many as five defenders, but the second line of defence just about manages to pull away his dangling hand. What a crucial tackle that was!

24-9 Guman picks up his sixth point of the game as he evades Sumit's dash. A 15-point lead for Patna Pirates!

We had a Twitter Spaces session earlier today, where we looked at all the talking points ahead of the PKL semifinals. One point that we did discuss (obsessively) was how good Patna Pirates has been and it's stunning squad depth. In case you missed the session, you can catch the replay here -

 

HALF-TIME: Patna Pirates has a massive 14-point lead at the break. Patna Pirates has been the better team from the first whistle and absolutely decimated UP Yoddha. The defence has been on song - earning nine points - and keeping Pardeep quiet. The raiders - Sachin, Guman and Prashant - have bagged 10 points amongst themselves to give their side a healthy lead. An uphill task for UP Yoddha!

23-9 Shadloui picks up his third tackle point of the game as he grabs hold of Surender's ankle.

22-9 Guman gets an easy running hand touch on Shubham.

21-9 Another point for Pardeep as he gets the better of Neeraj. Looks like the Dubki King is just getting started!

Only one UP Yoddha player has managed a tackle point so far - Ashu Singh.

21-8 Pardeep finally gets of the mark, in the 18th minute, as he runs out of Sajin's ankle hold.

21-7 ALL OUT x2 FOR PATNA PIRATES! Sajin makes a monstrous dash on Ashu to clinch the All Out and extend his side's lead to 14 points! That's the Pirates' eighth tackle point of the evening!

18-6 Guman escapes Sumit's attempted ankle hold and UP Yoddha has one man left on the mat.

17-6 UP Yoddha's misery continues as Surender is taken out. The side is down to two men and on the verge of another All Out.

16-6 SUPER TACKLE x2 FOR UP YODDHA! Ashu steps up yet again as he and Surender do well to deny Sachin.

16-4 Patna Pirates has scored FOUR TIMES the number of points UP Yoddha has managed! Pardeep has been pinned to the mat and he returns to the bench. He hasn't scored a single point yet!

15-4 That is a literal gift from Shubham. Sachin went in on the do-or-die raid and was darting around aimlessly with the clock ticking down and Shubham offers him the easiest of points.

Patna Pirates has seized control of this game in the opening 12 minutes. UP Yoddha needs some huge raids from Pardeep and Surender, starting now.

14-4 Neeraj strikes with a superb dash on Shrikant. Patna Pirates up by 10 points!

13-4 Patna Pirates captain Prashanth joins the party as he gets the better of both of UP Yoddha's corners! Pardeep and co. are in all sorts of trouble now.

11-4 ALL OUT! Patna Pirates inflicts the early All Out as Sunil grabs hold of Shubham with a fine back hold. A stupendous seven-point lead for the Pirates!

8-3 Sachin sends Gurdeep back to the bench and UP Yoddha is down to just one player!

7-3 Shadloui's successful tackle rate is at a 100% as he traps Shrikant with a superb thigh hold! That makes the Iranian PKL 8's best defender .

6-3 Massive raid from Guman! He lands a kick on Nitesh and gets past Ashu on his way back to bag two points in the do-or-die raid.

A great recovery from UP Yoddha, the side has five men on the mat now and has escaped the clutches of an early All Out.

4-3 Shrikant Jadhav comes in and makes an immediate impact as he outfoxes Sunil.

4-2 SUPER TACKLE FOR UP YODDHA! Ashu Singh and Shubham come together and get the better of Guman. First points on the board for UP Yoddha.

No signs of nerves at all for the Pirates, UP Yoddha has been reduced to three men in quick time!

4-0 Pardeep has been flattened on the mat by the Pirates defence! And guess who tackles him? Sachin, the raider! What a stunning double thigh hold that is.

3-0 Guman Singh bags a point on his first raid as he gets rid of Sumit, who has been UP Yoddha's best defender this season.

No points for Pardeep from his first two raids. He has gone no where near Shadloui so far.

2-0 In comes Mohammadreza Shadloui! The Iranian make a statement right away with an iron clad ankle hold on Surender Gill.

1-0 Sachin Tanwar scores off his first raid as he picks up Gurdeep, the right in.

0-0 An empty raid from Pardeep to get this game started.

Here we go! Pardeep Narwal to raid.

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

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7:30pm: TEAM NEWS!

Patna Pirates: Prashanth Kumar Rai, Neeraj Kumar, Sachin Tanwar, Sajin Chandrashekar, Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh, Guman Singh, Sunil Narwal

UP Yoddha: Nitesh Kumar, Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, Ashu Singh, Sumit, Shubham, Gurdeep

7:20pm: Today promises to be a cracker of a contest for multiple reasons. (i) Pardeep Narwal is taking on his former team, with whom he won four titles (ii) Monu Goyat is also taking on his former team! (iii) A win today will take Patna Pirates closer to a record-extending fourth title while UP Yoddha continues its quest for a maiden trophy.

7:10pm: In a team that's coached by the iconic Anup Kumar and features established stars such as Nitin Tomar, Rahul Chaudhari and Vishal Bharadwaj, one youngster has come come along and stolen the limelight - Aslam Inamdar. The young raider hailing from Taklibhan in Maharashtra has made coaches and fans turn around and take notice of his aptitude for the game and stunning skill set. From braving a broken leg to dealing with a tough financial situation at home, Aslam has overcome adversities aplenty to pursue his dream of becoming a professional kabaddi player.

Aslam is the first guest in Sportstar's special series - the Future Kings of Kabaddi.

 

7pm: What's standing between Patna Pirates and a record-extending fourth title, you ask? Pardeep Narwal's UP Yoddha! UP Yoddha booked its playoff berth with five wins in its last six matches and then beat Puneri Paltan 42-31 in Eliminator 1 to advance to the semifinal. Pardeep Narwal was the star of the show against Pune with 18 points, as he led his team to a maiden semifinal appearance. Pardeep will be eager to put one past his former team, Patna Pirates.

Pardeep-Narwal

UP Yoddha's Pardeep Narwal scored 18 points in his team's 42-31 win over Puneri Paltan in the first Eliminator.

 

6:50pm: After missing out on a playoff berth in the last two seasons, Patna Pirates roared its way into the semis in style. The three-time champion won 16 matches and finished 11 points clear of second-placed Dabang Delhi with a score difference of +120, the largest in PKL history.

Only two teams have averaged more tackle points in a season than the Patna Pirates have in Season 8 (12.23) – U Mumba in Season six (12.57) and Season two (12.25). Mohammadreza Chiyaneh Shadloui has led the Pirates’ defensive unit by example. The Iranian has scored nine High 5s this season, joint-most in a PKL campaign alongside Surjeet Singh and Surender Nada!

Mohammadreza-Chiyaneh-Shadloui

Patna Pirates' Iranian defender Mohammadreza Chiyaneh Shadloui was at his best as he clinched eight tackle points in Saturday's win over Gujarat Giants in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8).

 

6:40pm: While Patna Pirates, which finished first in the league stage and directly qualified for the semis, Bengaluru Bulls got the better of Gujarat Giants to reach the last-four. Here's more on that - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Eliminators: UP Yoddha, Bengaluru Bulls enter semifinals with big wins

6:30pm: Hello folks and welcome to the first semifinal of PKL 8! We've got a mouth-watering contest between three-time champion Patna Pirates and UP Yoddha! It's Monu Goyat vs Pardeep Narwal! Before we get to that, here's a recap of what went down in the PKL over the last fortnight - PKL notebook: Patna Pirates packs a punch