Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Shyam Vasudevan bringing you the coverage for the day.
Meanwhile, you can also check out our Kings of Kabaddi series from PKL 7 - a happier time pre-COVID when we got to physically sit down with some of the biggest names in the league and hear their stories. You can check out all episodes here:
Alright then, that brings us to the end of our Pro Kabaddi League coverage for the day. We will be back tomorrow for another pulsating triple-header. See you then!
The Bengal Warriors secures its second win on the trot as it earns a tense 31-28 triumph over Gujarat Giants. It was a nervy affair that went down to the very last minute, but defending champion Bengal Warriors managed to hold on to its slender lead and pick up another win. Bengal Warriors had a bit of an injury concern in skipper Maninder Singh, who was substituted at the death after he seemed to have injured his ankle or knee. Maninder had also taken a hit to the head earlier in the game.
Gujarat Giants rode on a brilliant performance from Rakesh Narwal, playing in only his second PKL match, as he scored 12 points to bring his side within sniffing distance of a victory.
31-28 Rakesh Narwal needs a bonus and a touch point at the very least but returns empty-handed! Rakesh was so good all evening, but couldn't get the job done on this occasion.
31-28 That's disappointing from Girish. Maninder showed little to no threat and was on his way back to the mid-line but Girish lunges in and gives away a needless point.
30-28 Rakesh has pulled off another miracle! He gets two points off a stunning raid and the deficit is now only two points! Coach Manpreet wants Rakesh to go in for a quick raid next. Forty five seconds to go!
30-26 Akash heads in on a do-or-die raid and forces the error from Mahndra Rajput! Girish and Mahendra formed the chain on the left but Girish lets go and Mahendra steps off the mat.
29-26 Rakesh Narwal darts in and out with a quick bonus point. Great game awareness from Rakesh. The lead has been cut down to three points. Bengal Warriors review the decision and lose the referral.
29-25 Mahendra Rajput has been brought in to rescue his side and he does just that! He bags one point and offers his side a glimmer of hope of a comeback.
29-24 Rakesh has been tackled after what feels like an eternity. Bengal Warriors leads by five points with three minutes to go.
28-24 It's Christmas eve and Parvesh decides to give Maninder an early gift. Maninder had only six seconds on the raid clock and Parvesh, unnecessarily, makes a poor tackle and loses out.
27-24 Rakesh Narwal, you beauty! He skips past right corner Rinku and reduces his side's deficit.
27-23 SUPER 10! Rakesh Narwal brings up just the second Super 10 of his PKL career. This is a resolute performance from Rakesh against a very rigid Bengal Warriors defence. Five minutes left on the clock!
27-22 Akash has established himself as a proper secondary raider. He bags another point and has four for the evening.
26-21 Rakesh Narwal picks up his ninth raid point of the evening. He faces a challenge from Nabibakhsh but tkes the Iranian with him into his side of the mat and earns a crucial point.
26-20 Back to back points for Akash! He eliminates another vital cog of the Gujarat Giants defence as he gets the better of Parvesh this time.
25-19 Akash manages a touch on the run and Girish has to make the dash to the bench.
24-19 Great stuff from Rakesh Narwal. He attempts an audacious back kick and manages to graze his boot on Maninder's head.
24-17 Mani on the money! Maninder simply bulldozes his way past Parvesh and Sunil Kumar to pick up two massive points. The cover combination is sent to the bench!
22-17 ALL OUT! The Bengal Warriors defence pounces on Hadi and inflicts he first All Out of the game. Five-point advantage for Bengal Warriors with 14 minutes to go.
19-16 Maninder Singh evades Rakesh Narwal's challenge with ease and reduces Gujarat Giants to just one man - Hadi.
18-15 As smooth as that. Nabibakhsh waits and waits and waits before running away with a wily touch on Parvesh.
17-14 SUPER TACKLE! Hadi Oshtorak comes on and helps his side to a Super Tackle. Parvesh launches into an ankle hold on Maninder and Hadi offers him the support he needs to contain the Bengal Warriors captain.
17-12 Nabibakhsh with his version of the frog jump as he eases his way past Ravinder Pahal! Gujarat Giants are down to two men and are staring at an All Out.
16-12 Rakesh picks up a bonus point but the Gujarat side is down to three men. A Super Tackle opportunity for them!
The Bengal Warriors put up an impressive all-round display to lead Gujarat Giants 16-11 at the end of the first half. It's been a nervy half of play with neither side really establishing its dominance as such. Gujarat Giants' defence has looked good and Ravinder Pahal has been in fiery form.
16-11 Akash earns his first raid point in Pro Kabaddi to extend Bengal Warriors' lead to six points!
15-11 Nabibakhsh likes that! Rinku traps Rakesh Narwal and Nabibakhsh swoops in to clear the danger.
14-11 Thats a lovely bit of work from Rohit as he escapes from Girish's ankle hold and gets a touch on another defender to claim two huge points.
12-8 Bengal Warriors had four men on the mat. Abozar steps off the mat, while Rakesh Narwal heads into the lobby. Strangely, Bengal Warriors is awarded a Super Tackle and two points.
10-8 SUPER TACKLE! Rohit, who came on from the bench just a minute ago, makes a strong tackle and holds on to Rathan's ankles like there is no tomorrow! Rinku and Abozar swoop in to earn their side two points.
8-8 Wow, that's some tackle from Pahal! It's a very brave one as he swoops down and attacks Nabibakhsh's ankles. The Iranian tries to wriggle free, but to no avail.
8-6 Rakesh Narwal attempts an audacious jump over Nabibakhsh, but there's no escaping this Bengal Warriors defence! Rinku piles on him to ensure he doesn't sneak away.
7-6 Not this time, says Ravinder Pahal. He watches and tracks Sukesh like a hawk and launches into an ankle hold.
6-4 Call it the commentator's curse - Rathan has been taken out courtesy of a fine dash from Rinku.
4-3 As easy as that - Maninder scalps up Parvesh this time and gives his side a slender lead.
Rathan, making his debut today, has looked sharp for the Gujarat Giants.
3-2 Nabibakhsh makes his first move of the evening and gets a running hand touch on Pahal! The Iranian will be the one to watch out for today.
2-1 The Hawk strikes! Ravinder Pahal latches on to Maninder with a massive ankle hold.
2-0 Bengal Warriors continues where it left off an Darshan makes a really strong frontal block to deny Rakesh.
1-0 What a start for Bengal Warriors! Maninder gets rid of Girish Ernak off his first raid!
Gujarat Giants won the toss and chose court, so Bengal Warriors will begin proceedings with the first raid.
9:42pm: I'm absolutely in awe of how many leaders Bengal Warriors has in its squad - Maninder Singh, Nabibakhsh, Sukesh Hegde and Abozar Mighani! No dearth of experience here.
9:38pm: Bengaluru Bulls has claimed its first win of PKL 8 as it gets the better of Tamil Thalaivas in a thrilling encounter. Match highlights here -
9:28pm: We had a really cool Twitter Spaces session earlier today discussing all things PKL with a few of you. For those who missed it, here's a recap -
9:25pm: Here's how the two teams will start today -
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, Darshan J, Parveen Satpal, Sukesh Hegde, Abozar Mighani, Rinku Narwal
Gujarat Giants: Sunil Kumar, Rakesh Narwal, Parvesh Bhainswal, Rathan K, Rakesh, Ravinder Pahal, Girish Maruti
9:20pm: Reigning champion Bengal Warriors began its title defence with a 38-33 victory over U.P. Yoddha, while Gujarat Giants claimed a 34-27 win over Jaipur Pink Panthers. The Gujarat Giants holds a slight advantage coming into today's game as the side has a slender 2-1 lead in terms of head-to-head clashes. The two other games have finished in a tie.
9:15pm : We have a fiercely-contested Souther Derby underway right now as Tamil Thalaivas locks horns with Bengaluru Bulls. My colleague Lavanya is blogging that game and you can follow it live here -
9:10pm: Hey folks, welcome to our blog for the final game of the evening as defending champion Bengal Warriors take on Gujarat Giants. Bengal Warriors have one of the most balanced squads in the League this season, while Gujarat Giants is home to one of the most solid defences. We're in for a fun contest for sure.
As you wait for action to begin today, you can also check out our Kings of Kabaddi series from PKL 7 - a happier time pre-COVID when we got to physically sit down with some of the biggest names in the league and hear their stories. You can check out all episodes here.
- Day 01 results:
Bengaluru Bulls U Mumba
Telugu Titans 40-40 Tamil Thalaivas
Bengal Warriors UP Yoddha
- Day 02 results:
- Gujarat Giants 34-27 Jaipur Pink Panthers
- Dabang Delhi 41-30 Puneri Paltan
- Haryana Steelers 39-42 Patna Pirates
Hey folks, welcome to another day of Pro Kabaddi League action! It's day 3 of action in Bengaluru and we've seen all the 12 teams in the league take to the mat at least once. Before we introduce you to the fixtures of the day, here's a look at the results from day 1 and 2.
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