PKL 2019: Bengaluru Bulls beats Patna Pirates, U Mumba gets past Telugu Titans - As it happened

Tune in for live updates from the opening two matches of season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019). Telugu Titans will face U Mumba in the first game, while defending champion Bengaluru Bulls will take on Patna Pirates in the second clash.

Defending champion Bengaluru Bulls will begin its Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) title defence against Patna Pirates.   -  Twitter @Prokabaddi

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the opening two matches 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.

 

That's all we have from our side for today, but do tune in tomorrow as we will live blog the two huge clashes of the day - Bengaluru Bulls vs Gujarat FortuneGiants at 7:30pm and Telugu Titans vs Tamil Thalaivas after that. See you then!

RELATED| Sportstar's full PKL 2019 coverage

What a way to start to the seventh season of the Pro Kabaddi League, eh! Fazel Atrachali's U Mumba completely neutralised the dangerous Siddharth Desai to claim a 31-25 win over Telugu Titans, while defending champion Bengaluru banked on its watertight defence to secure a 34-32 victory over three-time champion Patna Pirates. 

40' Bengaluru Bulls skipper Rohit Kumar kills the clock and seals a 34-32 win for this side.

39' Pardeep gets a point and claims a Super 10, but that has to his side's last raid of the game. Should Pardeep have perhaps gone for more? Was a tad too haste there?

39' Pardeep gets Mahender out, but the Bulls will be happy with that. He manages just one point and with less than a minute to go, the Bulls are in fine stead to claim the win.  Bulls lead 34-31.

38' Maghsoudlou gets the bonus point and it is a three point game at 32-29.

37' "It's mine, it's mine," yells Pardeep towards Maghsoudlou and races into the Bulls' half. He tries the Dubki, but the entire team combines to deny him any points. The Bulls lead 32-27.

37' Uh oh, a but of a haste tackle from Bulls captain Rohit here. He tries the ankle hold on Maghsoudlou, but the Iranian slips away and he's got a point for Patna Pirates.

36' Pawan picks up a bonus and the Bengaluru Bulls now have a five point lead at 31-26.

35' ALL OUT! The champs are back! Amit takes out Vikas Jaglan and the Pirates have been All Out. The Bulls now have a precious 30-26 lead with just over four minutes to go. We're in for a helluva finish!

34' What a turnaround! Pardeep is sent to the bench and Bengaluru Bulls now lead 26-25. And what makes it more special is that the Pirates have only two men left on the court now!

33' Pawan Kumar gets a running hand touch and gets rid of Hadi. The scores are level and we're at 24-24 with just a little over six minutes to go.

32' 'Defending' champions for a reason? The three defenders expertly combine (YET AGAIN!) to get (YET ANOTHER) Super Tackle. Maghsoudlou is the one out and the Bulls trail by a mere two points now.

31' Pawan Kumar has got all of three points so far, can you believe that? In the 30 minutes that have been played, he's spent 15 of it on the bench!

29' SUPER TACKLE x 3! This Bulls defence is something different altogether! Amit picks up another Super Tackle as Mahender and Ashish support him well and the three send Pardeep back to the bench, again! Patna leads 23-20.

27' MAKE THAT TWO! It's another Super Tackle for the Bulls and Pardeep is thrown onto the mat. It's a four point game with Bulls trailing 18-22.

25' SUPER TACKLE! Jang Kun Lee nearly, nearly escapes the defence but the three Bulls defenders manage to pull him back. That will earn the Bulls two points and they continue to trail at 15-21.

23' Rohit tries to jump over the defence but Hadi Oshtorak simply hoists him into the air and the Pirates defence swoops in. That's a strong tackle, to say the least.

22' Maghsoudlou, Maghsoudlou, Maghsoudlou - how good has this man been? He gets the points in defence and in attack and now claims his third raid point of the evening. Pirates lead 18-13.

20' That's the end of the first 20 and three-time champion Patna Pirates has a slender four point lead at 17-13.

19' WHAT A RAID! Pawan Kumar does a Dubki, right in front of the Dubki King Pardeep to claim two points. The Bulls trail 13-16.

18' Captain Rohit is sent back to the bench! It's a huge moment for Neeraj Kumar because that's his first point for Patna Pirates!

17' ALL OUT! Banty is tackled by Jaideep and that earns Patna Pirates three huge points. Pardeep and co. lead 14-11 with less than 3 minutes left in the first half.

16' What a fantastic debut Maghsoudlou is having! He gets Pawan out once again and the scores are level at 10-10.

14' SUPER TACKLE! Banty and Ashish Sangwan combine effectively to pummel Pardeep to the ground and win two crucial points. The Bulls lead once again at 10-9.

14' Banty races in and steals a quick touch point to earn the Bulls a point and more importantly, it brings back a Bulls player from the bench.

12' Pardeep gets a sneaky touch on Amit and the Bulls are down to two men! It's perfectly set up for Pardeep to claim an All Out.

12' That has to be the tackle of the evening! Vikas Jaglan has Rohit by the waist and yanks him back in the knick of time. Vikas picks up a tackle point, while Rohit gets the bonus point.

11' There we go! Sumit Singh makes a silly tackle on Pardeep, but the latter easily gets past him and earns his side an easy point. The scores are level at 6-6.

9' Back to back empty raids from Pardeep. It's almost like he's waiting for the defence to make the error.

7' How close was that? It's a do-or-die raid and Pawan races in, but Hadi Oshtorak latches on to him in the blink of an eye to hold him back. Pawan manages to extend his arm, but falls less than 3 inches short of the midline.

5' It's Amit again! He traps Jang Kun Lee and and the Bulls now have a three-point lead at 6-3.

3' SUPER TACKLE! Mohammad Esmaeil Maghsoudlou does oh so very well to trap Pawan Kumar and earn his side two crucial points. Pirates trail 3-5.

3' BLOCKED! Amit Sheoran does extremely well to get a strong thigh hold on Pardeep and the crowd erupts! The Bulls have raced to a 4-1 lead in no time.

2' The league's second best raider, Pardeep Narwal, goes back empty handed. But his main competitor this season, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat gets a point off his first raid. Bulls lead 2-0.

1' Rohit Kumar begins Bengaluru Bulls' title defence with a point off his first raid.

Aaaaand, we're back!

That brings us to the end of the first game. But don't go anywhere for the second game is just about to begin! Defending champion Bengaluru Bulls will take on three-time winner Patna Pirates 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' Rohit Baliyan gets Abozar out and that's the last point of the game. U Mumba registers a comfortable 31-25 win over Telugu Titans.

39' So the Titans coached has just told his side that if they are to lose, they must lose by less than 7 points because that assures the losing side a point. Siddharth does get another point and the scoreline is 23-30, but it's too little too late.

38' Siddharth gets another one. It's Surender who makes the error and U Mumba is now without two of its key defenders in Fazel and Surender! This could be Siddharth's chance to make a difference!

38' SUPER TACKLE! It's Rakesh once again as he tackles Arjun Deshwal and earns his side two priceless points. U Mumba leads 30-22.

37' Rakesh Gowda manages to send Fazel to the bench! The Iranian goes for the ankle hold, but Rakesh manages to sneak away and the U Mumba captain is off the mat!

37' Super 10 for Abhishek Singh! He sneaks past Abozar and Arun to pocket two points and race to 10 points. It's an amazing feat for the raider, given that he played second fiddle to Siddharth last season.

STAT: Vishal Bhardwaj has just gone past 250 Tackles in his PKL career.

37' That almost looked like a choke slam! Sandeep overpowers Rajnish and has him spraled all over the mat.

36' Another tackle from Fazel and it's another point for him. It's Farhad who faces Fazel's wrath this time and U Mumba continues to remain ahead at 27-19.

35' How, how, how does Fazel keep doing it? He waits until the right moment and grabs Siddharth's ankle to claim another tackle point.

34' First touch point for Siddharth! And its followed up by a strong tackle from Vishal and the Titans have got two points in to time!

STAT: Siddharth boats a remarkable strike rate of 75 percent in the last 5 minutes of the game. Can he turn this tie around?

33' He finally manages to score one! Siddharth gets a bonus point and opens his account for Telugu Titans. U Mumba leads 25-17.

32' Very mature defending from the Titans here. They hold back and wait for the raider to err and Abhishek is taken out by Farhad.

31' Saneep Narwal says nothing doing. He locks Siddharth with a strong back hold and the Titans raider has to walk back to the bench, yet again. U Mumba enjoying a 10 point lead at 25-15.

30' Alright then, Siddharth is back on the court for the last 10 minutes of this clash. Can he swing the tie around for the Telugu Titans?

29' Abozar sees th chance and throws in a terrific ankle hold to send Athul MS to the bench. That's a first point for him in a long long while.

28' So we've just heard that Siddharth Desai has in fact been substitutesd and will remain on the bench. What's going on her? Is this a tactical move by the Titan's Iranian coach Gholamreza Mazandarani?

27' ALL OUT! Rajnish sees now way past this formidable U Mumba defence and Sandeep clamps him down to secure the All Out. U Mumba are running away with this one, they lead 24-13.

26' Abhishek gets Abozar out and Telugu Titans are down to their last man, on the verge of another All Out.

25' What a fantastic raid from Abhishek! He gets a touch on Abozar and evades Arun's dash with terrific athleticism to claim  a point. U Mumba now leads 20-11.  But it is a really strange decision because he clearly, CLEARLY, got two touches! More importantly, the Titans are now down to two men.

24' Alright there seems to be some confusion here and the referees are debating if U Mumba had 6 or 7 players on the mat. The refs feel U Mumba has only 6 men, but Fazel us sure they had 7. And Fazel is now forced to review it! How bizzare. Haha, the review is successful and Fazel has the last laugh.

24' It's a Super Tackle chance, but Abhishek doesn't go for it. He has six points to his name and is yet to be tackled! What a game he's having.

23' Abhishek gets another one in the bag! He simply runs past Aakash Arsul to hand U Mumba a huge NINE-point lead at 19-10.

22' It's a bit of a sedate start to the second half. Rohit wins a bonus point for U Mumba, but a streak of unsuccessful raids follow. 

It's been a very interesting opening 20. U Mumba's famed defence has looked watertight, while it's raiding has been on point too. Telugu Titans have looked a tad off-clour so far, with their star raider Siddharth Desai yet to claim a single point. A tense second half awaits!

20' That's the end of the first half and U Mumba boasts a comfortable 17-10 lead.

18' Rakesh, making PKL his debut, picks up a point off his first raid! He's done what Siddharth hasn't been able to do yet.

Stat: Abhishek Singh has just got past 50 raid points!

16' WHAAAT. Siddharth, who scored a mammoth 218 points last season, makes a rookie error and is sent back to the bench. He's unaware that it's a do-or-die raid and he unassumingly returns to Telugu Titan's half, but the ref has him sent to the bench. He's yet to score his first point for the Titans!  U Mumba leads 15-8

14' Sandeep Narwal races in, in hot pursuit of a point, but the mighty Vishal simply thwarts him away. Telugu Titans trails U Mumba 8-13.

12' ALL OUT! Abhishek Singh pockets the first All Out as he gets past Rajnish and Krushna Madne to win four massive points! U Mumba now has a handsome 12-6 lead.

11' In the 11 minutes that have been played, Siddharth Desai has spent an astonishing SIX minutes on the bench!  Have Fazel and co. actually figured out all of Siddharth's moves?

9' Brilliant back-tracking skills from Rohit Baliyan! He gets Abozar Mighani and Vishal Bharadwaj out to earn his side two crucial points. U Mumba leads 8-4 now!

8' Siddharth's quest for his first point continues! He makes his way deep into the U Mumba half but simply cannot get that point. Fazel does really well to stay put and Surender swoops in with a low tackle to stop Siddharth. U Mumba leads 6-4.

7' Farhad Milaghardan makes a silly error and has to make his way back to the bench.

5' 4-2 to U Mumba! It's a do-or-die raid and Abhishek Singh does really well to evade Aakash's grasp to sneak away. U Mumba leads 4-2.

5' Fazel at it again! Rajnish cannot get past the U Mumba captain and it's Fazel who has the last laugh. U Mumba leads 3-2.

4' TAKEN OUT! Fazel Atrachali makes a huge statement by pummeling Siddharth Desai to the ground! What a massive tackle from the Iranian!

3' Athul MS also claims a bonus point and the side's are all level mat 1-1.

1' Interesting start, this! Its Rajnish, not Siddharth Desai, who goes on the first raid for Telugu Titans and bags a bonus point.

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7:30pm: GAME ON!

7:29pm: Here's how the home side, Telugu Titans, will line up - Abozar Mighani, Farhad, Akash Arsul, Siddharth Desai, C Arun, Rajnish and Vishal Bharadwaj.

7:27pm: U Mumba are out here! Here's their starting 7 - Rohit Baliyan, Surender Singh, Harendra Kumar, Athul MS, Abhishek Singh, Sandeep Narwal and Fazel Atrachali.

7:20pm: It's a full house at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad! Couldn't make it there? Don't worry, we've got your back. Stay tuned to this space for we'll bring you all the live action as it unfolds.

7:15 pm: Siddharth or Fazel? Let us know you think will be this evening's MVP here -

 

7:10pm: Did you know? Fazel Atrachali is the only foreigner to have played in four PKL finals. And it gets even better as he already has two titles to his name! Can he lead U Mumba to its second and his third title this season? - Focus on defence as U Mumba sets eyes on second title

7:00pm: 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 help clear all your doubts, if any - PKL 2019: All the Pro Kabaddi League rules explained

6:55pm: Speaking of Iranians, and I cannot stop gushing about the scintillating show they put up the other evening in the Indian 7 vs World 7 All Star game. Fazel, Abozar and this season's most expensive foreign buy, Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, combined exceedingly well to earn the World 7 an edge-of-the-seat one-point win over Indian 7. Here's how that match went down - PKL 2019 All Stars clash: World 7 secures last-gasp win over Indian 7

6:50pm: Telugu Titans will have a new coach and captain this season. Iranian superstar Abozar Mighani will lead the side on the mat, while his Iran national team coach Gholamreza Mazandarani will serve as the team's coach. We caught up with the coach and here's what he said: “We have a very young side and I feel that combination of Vishal Bharadwaj and the exciting Siddharth Desai should test the best of the opposition. Overall, we have a very good, balanced team on hand which should deliver the results.”

Full story - After stint with U Mumba, Gholamreza now takes charge of Telugu Titans

6:45pm: So did the five big buys make it to our list of the seven stars to watch out for this season? Find out here - From Pawan Kumar Sehrawat to Nitesh Kumar - Seven stars to look out for in season seven

6:40pm: Now 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 of course, here are the top-5 overall signings (hint: they're all Indians!) - Top five buys

6:35pm: 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

6:30pm: A lot has happened since though; Siddharth couldn't complete the season owing to a shoulder injury and was released from the U Mumba side. But his exploits in the opening stages, which saw him become the fastest to reach 50 points and become the first rookie to get to 200 points, made him one of the most sought-after names at the auctions.

And Telugu Titans broke the bank and splurged a mammoth Rs. 1.45 crore to rope him in. He will be the side's main raider this year following Rahul Chaudhari's departure to Tamil Thalaivas.

Here's what Siddharth said after the auction - Siddharth Desai ready to dance after becoming costliest buy

6:20pm: The opening match promises to be a thriller as it pits last season's star, Siddharth Desai, against Iranian powerhouse Fazel Atrachali. What makes it super interesting is that the two actually shared the mat last season at U Mumba.

Interestingly, here's what Fazel said at the press conference yesterday: “Siddharth and I know each other well and we do have a plan to tackle him which you will see in the game tomorrow.” A sound statement, eh?

The day we've all been looking forward to is finally here, it's kabaddi season again! The seventh season of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 2019) kicks off this evening with a tantalising clash between home side Telugu Titans and season 2 champion U Mumba. This will be followed by another mouth-watering clash between defending champion Bengaluru Bulls and three-time champion Patna Pirates.