Welcome to SportStar's live blog of Pro Kabaddi League 2018 playoffs. Last season's runner-up Gujarat Fortunegiants faces Bengaluru Bulls in the first clash while UP Yoddha will take on Dabang Delhi in the second tie at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kochi.
U.P Yoddha vs Dabang Delhi
45-33 Prashanth Kumar Rai is the last-man standing for the last raid of the match and comes back empty. U.P Yoddha goes through to the Eliminator 3 against Gujarat Fortuneginats with a clinical performance. Prashanth Kumar Rai and Rishank Devadiga have turned on the style for their side and Delhi's defence consisting the likes of Ravinder Pahal, Joginder Narwal and Satpal have been unable to turn up.
45-31 Rishank Devadiga is tackled on the left corner and the U.P skipper does not fightback and walks off the pitch.
45-30 Sagar Krishna makes a desperate dash near the midline on Pawan Kadian, but it will not hurt U.P.
43-28 Rishank Devadiga gets another touch point for U.P.
43-25 While it was a defensive masterclass from Nitesh Kumar and Jeeva Kumar that brought down the might of U Mumba, today it has been the raiding power of Prashanth Kumar Rai and Rishank Devadiga that has put Dabang Delhi to the sword.
42-22 Rishank Devadiga is given away a touch point by Chandran Ranjit and it is the third all-out of the match for U.P Yoddha.
36-22 Prashant Kumar Rai has pulled the rabbit out of the hat! He sweeps five Delhi players off the mat and puts Delhi on the brink of a third allout. The small light of making comeback for Delhi is all but extinguished.
31-21 Pawan Kadian gives Delhi the window for a comeback as he takes out two players off the mat to get an all-out.
31-15 Naveen Kumar is taken down by Amit to get two points for a Super Tackle, the raider almost puts his hand over the line, but is pulled back.
29-15 Narender gets himself out by stepping over the line at the back of the court. Prashant Rai gets a bonus point for U.P.
27-13 Naveen Kumar gets a touch point, after what feels like an eternity for Delhi. Half a minute left in the first half and U.P, in all probability has a foot in the Qualifier 2 against Gujarat Fortunegiants.
27-11 Double-whammy! Nitesh Kumar and Jeeva Kumar, who got High 5s against U Mumba yesterday, combine to slam Chandra Ranjit to the mat.
25-10 It has been one-way traffic with U.P raiders proving too strong for Delhi's defence. A hobbling Satpal gives away a touch point to Rishank Devadiga for the second all-out to U.P.
21-9 Satpal and Joginder Narwal try to tackle Shrikant Jadhav, but the U.P raider is too strong for it.
17-8 Meraj Sheykh runs into Nitesh Kumar and is tackled to the mat. The Iranian probably did not watch last night's first match where U Mumba raiders did the same mistake and bit the dust.
16-7 Nitesh Kumar swoops in on Chandra Ranjit on the right corner with a thigh hold to open his account for the night. The raider has been in tremendous form this season amassing 91 tackle points and has shown what he is capable with 8 tackle points against U Mumba.
15-7 Rishank Devadiga charges at Naveen Kumar near the midline, while stepping out off the court completely. Umpire awards one point apiece.
13-5 Rishank Devadiga takes out his counterpart Joginder Narwal with a toe touch. Delhi defence is in shambles.
12-3 It is immense pressure on young Delhi raiders Chandra Ranjit and Naveen Kumar. Naveen, however, manages to get a bonus point.
10-1 Under four minutes, Dabang Delhi is all-out which is the fastest all-out of the season. Shrikant Jadhav gets a super raid and then Rishank Devadiga takes out two men.
2-0 Meraj Sheykh goes back with an empty raid, but Sachin Kumar is off in a flash and catches Meraj unaware near the midline to come back with a point.
1-0 Rishank Devadiga pinches the bonus line to open the account for U.P Yoddha.
Head-to-head: U.P. Yoddha 2-0 Dabang Delhi K.C.
- U.P. Yoddha’s defence was outstanding in the team’s triumph over U Mumba whereas Dabang Delhi K.C. raiders Naveen Kumar and Chandran Ranjit combined to score 19 raid points in their team’s win over Bengal Warriors.
- While both teams have brilliant rosters at their disposal, the duel between U.P. Yoddha’s defence and Dabang Delhi K.C.’s offence will likely be the key battle in this contest.
- Against U Mumba, star of the show for U.P Yoddha was right corner Nitesh Kumar who scored eight tackle points and was ably supported by veteran Cover Jeeva Kumar who returned a High 5. The defence had an outstanding night against U Mumba, scoring a franchise record 18 tackle points on the night, and limited outstanding rookie Siddharth Desai to just seven raid points while also tackling him seven times.
(Scores read Bengaluru Bulls-Gujarat Fortunegiants)
41-29 The Bengaluru Bulls storm into the PKL 2018 final after scripting a stunning 41-29 come-from-behind win over the Gujarat Fortunegiants. The Fortunegiants will play the winner of the UP Yoddha vs Dabang Delhi tie for a spot in the final.
40-29 That certainly has to be the match-settling raid. The Bulls inflict another All Out and now soar to an enormous 11-point advantage.
35-28 Bengaluru Bulls captain Rohit picks up a High-5. He's among the top five raiders of the league and has today claimed five tackle points too!
33-28 Ace defender Hadi heads in for a raid and picks up two valuable points and keeps his side in the tie.
31-26 How crucial is this going to be? Bulls captain Rohit Kumar rises to the occasion and grabs Sachin by the ankle to send the Fortunegiants' best defender back to the bench.
29-26 WHAT A TURNAROUND! Pawan Kumar makes another jaw-dropping tackle and gets past all three Fortunegiants defenders to inflict an All Out and earn his side five valuable points.
We're now down to the final seven minutes and the Fortunegiants have a three point lead. Will the side further extend its lead or will the Bulls make a comeback and seal their berth in the final?
23-26 Exceptional! Pawan Kumar makes a spectacular Super Raid to get a touch on three Fortunegiants defenders and bring his side right back into the game.
25-20 ALL OUT! Rohit Gulia raids successfully and leads the Fortunegiants to the All Out. They now have a massive five point lead!
18-21 Bulls are in all sorts of trouble now. Sachin picks up another point and rescues the Bulls to two men on the mat. The Fortunegiants simply have to push for the All Out now!
18-19 Hadi with another stunning tackle and claims his third tackle point from as many attempts.
17-18 Ouch! Harish Naik slaps, literally slaps Sachin Vittala to earn a touch point. Quite the "touch", eh?
16-17 Hadi Oshtorak from the left corner to make a fine ankle lock on Pawan Kumar and picks up his second tackle point of the evening.
15- 15 Mahender makes a hasty tackle and Sachin easily crosses the line to bring the match back to level terms.
13-14 Point given away by the Fortunegiants at the stroke of half-time and the two sides are separated a mere point now.
12-13 Parvesh Bhainswal makes a wild lunge and gifts Sumit Singh an easy touch point.
11-13 The momentum swings in the Fortunegiants' favour as Prapanjan picks up a raid point and reduces the Bulls to three men. Can the men in yellow push for the All Out?
11-11 Rohit Gulia gets a toe touch on Pawan on the left corner to restore parity. It's strange that the Bulls are playing their best raider in that position, given that he's always at the risk of being tagged out.
10-9 It's Rohit vs Sunil and Rohit wins the battle once again.
8-9 Taken down! Fortunegiants claims its first tackle point of the evening after 10 long minutes! Ruturaj Koravi make a fine move from the right corner to trap Pawan.
6-8 Fortunegiants take the lead! Sachin makes a solid raid and gets a touch on two defenders to put his side in the lead for the first time tonight.
6-6 Wow, that a spectacular leap from K. Prapanjan. He gives it everything he has and stretches far to his right to grab a touch point. We're back on level terms.
5-3 It's a battle of the captains here! Bulls captain Rohit Kumar gets a touch on Fortunegiants' skipper Sunil to send him off the mat for the third time tonight. Poor start for the Sunil so far.
4-2 Thats his 238th point of the season and Pawan gives the Bulls an early two-point lead.
1-2 Youngster Sachin gets the touch point and a bonus point to make it 2-1 in Fortunegiants' favour.
1-0 And he's off the mark! Pawan Kumar Sehrawat gets the first points on the board and sends Sunil Kumar back to the bench.
With both sides having finished top of their respective zones, Gujarat Fortunegiants and Bengaluru Bulls will face off in the first Qualifier. The Fortunegiants is comes into the tie on a six-match unbeaten run. The Bulls has been solid throughout the season and was the first team from Zone B to qualify for the Playoffs. The two sides played out a 30-30 tie the only previous time they met this season.
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