PKL 2019: Tamil Thalaivas cruises past Telugu Titans, Gujarat FortuneGiants ousts Bengaluru Bulls - As it happened

Tune in for live updates from season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019 as Bengaluru Bulls faces Gujarat FortuneGiants in a repeat of last year's final, while home side Telugu Titans takes on Tamil Thalaivas in the second clash.

Rahul Chaudhari will begin his career with Tamil Thalaivas when his side takes on Telugu Titans in PKL 2019 on Sunday.   -  Twitter@ProKabaddi

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the match 3 and 4 of the seventh season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019). I'm Shyam Vasudevan and I will give you live updates as the action unfurls at Hyderabad's Gachibowli Stadium.

 

Right then, that's all from our side for the evening. We will be back with our live blog tomorrow when season two champion U Mumba takes on season one champion Jaipur Pink Panthers, followed by the clash between Puneri Paltan and Haryana Steelers.

Fun fact, the second game will see two former players, Anup Kumar and Rakesh Kumar, make their coaching debuts, and it promises to be an intriguing game.

Until then, here's your avenue for all things PKL - Sportstar's full PKL 2019 coverage

Phew, what an evening it's been. A new-look Tamil Thalaivas rode on Rahul Chaudhari's Super 10 and the mighty Manjeet Chhillar's High Five to cruise to a comfortable 39-26 victory over home side Telugu Titans. (Wondering what these terms in bold mean? All answers here - PKL 2019: Key terms explained)

The earlier game of the evening saw a repeat of last year's final, but it ended differently. Gujarat FortuneGiants did supremely well to exact revenge and hand defending champion Bengaluru Bulls a 42-24 hammering to get its campaign off to a winning start.

40' There's the win! A phenomenal all-round performance sees Tamil Thalaivas soar to a 39-26 triumph over Telugu Titans. The star of the evening was undoubtedly Rahul 'The Showman' Chaudhari, who brought up his first Super 10 in his first game for Tamil Thalaivas. 

38' What a play this is! Rahul tackles Siddharth, his replacement at Telugu Titans, and the Thalaivas are simply running away with this one.

STAT: With that tackle on Rajnish, Ran Singh has reached a PKL career milestone! He's now got 200 tackle points to his name.

36' Another ALL OUT! Rajnish clatters into the Thalaivas defence and that's another All Out. It hands Thalaivas three more points and they now have a massive 15-point lead at 36-21.

36' SUPER 10 FOR RAHUL! He gets a running hand touch on Farhad and that brings up his first Super 10 in Tamil Thalaivas colours. What makes it sweeter is the fact that he's gotten it against his former team, the Telugu Titans! Thalaivas lead 33-20.

34' No stopping Rahul! He gets Abozar out and the Titans are reduced to one man. Here's the best part - the local crowd is actually cheering him on! Why you wonder? Rahul had spent six seasons with Telugu Titans and was, rather is, an absolute favourite with the crowd here.

33' It's Manjeet AGAIN! It looks like he's made it his duty to handle Siddharth Desai tonight and he's done just that! He gets the Titans raider out yet again and extends Thalaivas' lead to 11 points. With a little over seven minutes to go, Tamil Thalaivas lead 28-17.

32' He's the top defender in PKL history and he shows just why - Manjeet makes another terrific tackle and earns himself another tackle point. That's his fifth point and it's a High Five for the veteran.

31' There's just no getting past Manjeet today. He throws himself at Farhad to send him sprawling and off the mat. This Thalaivas defence looks mighty strong. Thalaivas lead 26-17.

30' He's taken out this time! Kamal makes a bold move and gets a sharp tackle on Rahul to reduce his side's deficit to eight points.

28' Rahul strikes! He makes a quick dash to the right corner and manages a toe-touch on Abozar to send the Iranian back to the bench. Thalaivas storming ahead at 25-15.

26' Ajeet does oh so very well to throw Siddharth off the mat. It's very a fantastic tackle for Ajeet is a skinny lad, much to the contrary of Siddharth's muscular towering frame. And he follows it up with a raid point too! Thalaivas lead 24-13.

24' Ouch, that's got to hurt! Mohit Chhillar throws himself into the tackle and has Kamal on the mat, but he takes a knock in the process and is now left with a cut on his forehead. Some commitment, this.

23' Siddharth contributes in defence has he throws a perfectly timed ankle lock on Shabeer and reduces the Thalaivas to four men. Who are they missing? All three raiders - Rahul, Ajay and Shabeer! Chance for Siddharth to turn things around? Thalaivas lead 21-13.

22' So closeeee! Rahul nearly wins three raid points, but Vishal expertly holds him back with a double ankle hold and Rahul has to head back to the bench.

21' There's just no getting past this Thalaivas defence! Siddharth tries, and he fails, as he's taken out by the muscular Mohit. Thalaivas lead 21-10.

20' A new look Tamil Thalaivas go into the half-time break with a massive 10-point lead. Rahul Chaudhari and Ajay Thakur have combined extremely well to lead the Thalaivas to a 20-10 lead after the opening 20 minutes.

18' Uh oh, trouble for Thalaivas. Siddharth gets Rahul out and Ajay is tackled in the subsequent raid and the side is now reduced to five men. They remain in the lead at 19-10.

18' BONUS PLUS TWO! Ajay gets his first Super Raid of the game as he gets Vishal and Farhad, Titans' two main defenders, out and a bonus to claim three points. Thalaivas are racing ahead here.

16' ALL OUT! Rakesh Gowda is taken out and Tamil Thalaivas have inflicted an All Out. It increases their tally by another three points and the Thalaivas now have a healthy lead at 16-7.

15' Rahul Chadhari joins the party! It's a do-or-die raid and he evades Abozar's tackle and gets a touch on Kamal as well to earn two points. Thalaivas lead 13-6.

13' Manjeet is stamping his authority on this game. He pulls back Rajnish with absolute ease to reduce Telugu Titans to  three men.

11' What a raid from Shabeer Bapu! He wins two huge points and sends Vishal and Farhad back to the bench. The Titans are now down to four men! Thalaivas lead 10-6.

9' SUPER TACKLE! It's the mighty Manjeet Chhillar who predicts Siddharth's move down to the T and pummels him to the mat. Thalaivas lead 7-6.

8' Fantastic tackle this, from Abozar Mighani! He stops Ajay Thakur in his tracks and the Telugu Titans have now drawn level. Both Ajay and Rahul are now on the bench and Thalaivas don't have an established raider as of now. Scores level at 5-5.

6' Ajeet tries to take on Siddharth, but the latter is far too powerful for him. Siddharth escapes and reduces the Titans' deficit to a mere point at 4-5.

5' Rahul picks up a bonus point, but looks awfully unhappy. He looked perfectly set to claim a massive Super Raid, but the ref thought otherwise and adjudged him out.

4' Ran Singh marks his 100th PKL appearance in style! He executes a terrific backhold on Rajnish to open his account for the evening. Thalaivas lead 4-1. Uh, strike that.

Ran Singh has stepped into the lobby before the raider touched a defender and he's off the mat. Thalaivas lead 3-2.

3' Just pulled back in time! Siddharth Desai nearly sneaks away with a Super Raid, but Rahul Chaudhari says nothing doing and tackles him with a fine ankle hold.

2' Ajay gets another point and he sends Vishal Bharadwaj off the mat. Thalaivas lead 2-0.

1' Tamil Thalaivas captain claims a point off his first raid and the crowd is simply loving it!

That brings us to the end of the first game. But don't go anywhere for the second game is just about to begin! Home side Telugu Titans will take on Tamil Thalaivas in less than 5 minutes from now. Stay tuned!

While we wait, I had done a little video previewing all the 12 squads this PKL 2019 season. Here goes:

40'  They've done it! Gujarat FortuneGiants get their revenge over defending champion Bengaluru Bulls as they claim a stunning 42-24 win.

39' SUPER TACKLE! Vinod gets Amit Sheoran out and the Gujarat FortuneGiants lead 41-23.

38' So close, yet so far away. Banty does extremely well to get past three defenders and nearly wins a Super Raid, but he's pulled back at the very last second. The Gujarat defence remains as strong as ever.

37' It's a High Five for Sunil Kumar. He knocks Sumit off the mat and further extends his side's lead.

37' Pawan has to make the painful jog back to the bench. He finds no way past Parvesh Bhainswal and Gujarat FortuneGiants now boasts a mammoth 38-21 lead. Surely, surely the Bulls cannot comeback now, can they? 

35' More GB has been an absolute revelation so far. He has Rohit flat out on the mat and has emerged as one Gujarat's stars of the clash.

35' ALL OUT x 3! The FortuneGiants get their third All Out of the game and have now cruised to a FIFTEEN point lead at 36-21.

34' SUPER SONU GETS A SUPER RAID! He drags three men along with him and wins a priceless three points for his side. Gujarat now leads 32-20. Will this be the game changing moment?

33' It's captain vs captain again! And it's Sunil who has the last laugh, again! He has Rohit trapped with a perfect ankle lock and Gujarat now has a (seemingly) comfortable nine-point lead.

32' Sumit makes a rather unnecessary tackle on Rohit and the latter eases his way past the midline. Pawan is once again back on the mat. It's almost like he's doing shuttle runs between the bench and the court! Gujarat leads 28-20.

30' Mahender makes a sharp tackle to take out More GB, and that brings Pawan back. But Pawan's return is short-lived as he's tackled out by substitute Ruturaj Koravi!

28' Not this time, says Parvesh Bhainswal. He commits himself and executes a perfect ankle

lock on Pawan to deny him any points. It earns Gujarat a crucial point and more importantly, it sends Pawan to the bench. Gujarat leads 26-18.

26' WHAT A RAID! IT'S A SUPER RAID! Pawan strikes just when his side needs him the most and he drags three defenders along with himself to the midline. He also manages to get the bonus point and it's a massive four-point raid. WOW! Gujarat still remains ahead at 25-18. 

24' That is a fine, fine tackle from Amit. He manages to block Rohit and that brings Pawan back on the mat! 

23' Sachin is at it again! He leaps past the tackle and gets Mahender out! The Bulls' main defender is out and the side looks in some serious trouble now. Another All Out in the offing? Gujarat leads 24-11.

STAT: Rohit and Pawan combined to score 79 percent of Bengaluru Bulls' raid points last season. The two have scored all of four points so far.

21' SPEARED! Sumit clatters into Rohit Kumar and sends him right back to the bench. What that means is that Rohit and Pawan are both on the bench and the Bulls have no established raider at the moment.

20' Pawan 'High Flyer' Sehrawat is yet to take off as he's tackled yet again! He's only got two points and will go back to the bench again. He's struggled to trouble this compact Gujarat defence thus far. At the end of the first half, Gujarat FortuneGiants leads 21-10.

19' ALL OUT! Gujarat inflicts the second All Out of the game as Sumit takes out his nakesake, Sumit Singh, to earn three crucial points. Gujarat has a handsome 10-point lead at 20-10.

STAT: Bengaluru Bulls emerged victorious in all the three times the two sides clashed last season.

18' What an escape! Rohit does a mini Dubki of sorts and gets two raid points! Gujarat leads 16-8.

STAT: Gujarat FortuneGiants has scored 7 points in the last 5 minutes, while Bengaluru Bulls has managed only 3.

15' That's the second time Amit has struggled to deal with Sachin. He gets a hold of Sachin's ankle, but the former simply drags him along and gets to the midline with ease.

14' A comeback on the cards for the Bulls? Pawan gets a touch on Parvesh and Rohit Gulia is tackled by the Bulls defence and they now trail at 8-11.

12' ALL OUT! Sumit finds no way past the defence and the Gujarat FortuneGiants have inflicted the first All Out of the game. It gives the side three huge points and they now lead 11-6 with eight minutes left in the opening half.

11' Mahender gets a touch on Sachin, but the latter gets past him and the Bulls are now down to one man.

10' Pawan is taken out! It's a do-or-die raid for the Bulls and he attempts to leap past the defence, but he's simply taken out by Sachin. Gujarat leads 6-4.

9' It's a do-or-die raid and he does extremely well to evade Amit Sheoran's tackle. Gujarat leads 4-5 and the Bulls are without their captain Rohit and ace defender Amit.

8' Pawan opens his account with a sneaky touch on More. The scores are level at 4-4 now.

6' SUPER TACKLE! Mahender Singh blocks Rohit Gulia to earn his side a Super Raid and two valuable points.

5' OUT! Rohit is sent back to the bench. It's captain vs captain as Sunil Kumar makes a stunning ankle lock to yank Rohit away and send the Bulls skipper off. Gujarat leads 4-1.

4' Bulls are still searching for their first point. All five of their raids have been empty raids and they face yet another do-or-die raid next.

4' That is a gift! Debutant Saurabh Nandal steps into the corridor and gifts Sachin the easiest of points. Gujarat leads 3-0 now.

3' First tackle points. More GB grabs Sumit by the ankle and Gujarat now lead 2-0.

1' Sachin seems to have bagged the first point of the match. It looks like he's got a touch on Pawan, but the Bulls think otherwise and review it.  The point stays! Sachin gets the point and Pawan is back on the bench.

1' Bengaluru Bulls begin the raiding and captain Rohit Kumar is sent back empty-handed.

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7:30pm: OFF WE GO!

7:28pm: Two minutes to go! PKL has a set of unique rules and terms that are different from mainstream kabaddi. There's of course the well-known ones like Super Raid and Super Tackle, and then there are the not-so-familiar ones like the 'Technical Point' and 'Double.' This explainer should clear all your doubts, if any - PKL 2019: All the Pro Kabaddi League terms explained

7:26pm: Here's the Bulls' starting 7 - Sumit Singh, Ashish Sangwan, Amit Sheoran, Rohit Kumar, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, Saurabh Nandal and Mahender Singh.

7:25pm: Here we go! The FortuneGiants are on the mat and here's how they will line up - Sachin Tanwar, Sunil Kumar, Parvesh Bhainswal, Ankit, Sumit, More GB and Rohit Gulia.

7:15pm: Right then, we're less than 15 minutes away from some super fun high-intensity action. I'm going to go grab myself some coffee! Or some tea perhaps? Ah, spoilt for choices. While I'm away, you can check out our entire PKL 2019 coverage here -  Sportstar's full PKL 2019 coverage

7:10pm: Will the Bulls bulldoze their way past Gujarat FortuneGiants, or will the latter claim a win and gain the bragging rights? Let us know here -

 

7:05pm: So today's first match will in fact be a repeat of last year's final. Pawan Kumar Sehrawat set the mat ablaze as he scored a record 22 points - the most ever in a PKL final - to lead Bengaluru Bulls to a maiden title. Here's a video recap of the PKL 2018 final: Bengaluru Bulls trumps Gujarat Fortunegiants to win maiden title

7pm: Since their arrival in PKL two years ago, Gujarat FortuneGiants have been the most consistent team in the league, having made two successive finals in as many years. However, the title has simply eluded the Manpreet Singh-led side. Will this be their year? Here's their season preview - PKL 2019: Two-time finalist Gujarat FortuneGiants gunning for maiden title

6:50pm: So I had done a video previewing all the 12 squads this PKL 2019 season. Here goes:

 

 

6:40pm: So PKL has a set of unique rules and terms that are different from mainstream kabaddi. There's of course the well-known ones like Super Raid and Super Tackle, and then there are the not-so-familiar ones like the 'Technical Point' and 'Double.' This explainer should clear all your doubts, if any - PKL 2019: All the Pro Kabaddi League rules explained

6:35pm: Siddharth actually said he was "ready to dance" after his record signing! Here's the full story - Siddharth Desai ready to dance after becoming costliest buy

6:30pm: Now a price tag of a whopping Rs. 1.45 crore is bound to make you a tad jittery, yes? Well not if you're Siddharth 'Bahubali' Desai! READ - Telugu Titans' Siddharth Desai unconcerned by hefty price tag

6:25pm: Speaking of Rahul 'The Showman' Chaudhari, do you remember how much he was bought for at the auctions? Tamil Thalaivas splurged a mammoth ₹94 lakh to acquire his services and make him the season's third-most expensive buy. I'm sure you're wondering who were the other big buys at the auctions. Fret not, we've got you covered - here's the complete list of buys at the PKL 2019 auctions - Top buys across categories | And the top-5 overall signings - Top five buys

6:20pm: Rahul Chaudhari, Siddharth Desai and Ajay Thakur are all some of the biggest names currently in Indian kabaddi. But did the three make it to Sportstar's pick of the top 7 players to watch out for this season? Find out here - PKL 2019: Seven stars to look out for in season seven

6:15pm: So Siddharth's Telugu Titans will go up against a new-look Tamail Thalaivas this evening. Tamil Thalaivas went into the PKL 2019 auctions looking for a second raider to complement captain Ajay Thakur and did phenomenally well to rope in PKL's all-time leading scorer, Rahul Chaudhari. With Ajay and Rahul raiding, and Manjeet Chhillar and Mohit Chillar in defence, Thalaivas look a terrific team this year. Here's more on them - New-look Tamil Thalaivas out to claim maiden play-off berth

6pm: Siddharth Desai will have a chance at redemption today after a he endured a rather forgettable outing last evening. He spent close to 17 minutes on the bench and struggled to create any sort of an impact at all against his former side U Mumba.

In fact, it took him a shocking 33 minutes to claim his first point, and there was little he could do as season two champion U Mumba held on to record a comfortable win.

Here's how that game went down -