Happy New Year! Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Nihit Sachdeva and I will be taking you through today's PKL 8 match between Dabang Delhi and Tamil Thalaivas.
With this tie, Dabang Delhi stays unbeaten and top of the league while Thalaivas is at fifth with one win, one draw and THREE ties.
Dabang Delhi was ahead by eight points with ten minutes remaining when Thalaivas asked for a time out. Post that time out, the whole complexion of the game changed as Thalaivas kept chipping away at Delhi's lead. Naveen Kumar picked 14 raid points but he must be ruing the time at which Sagar tackled him with five minutes left. Thalaivas then looked to have sealed the win but a needless charge on Sandeep Narwal by Mohit let Delhi tie the game.
Well, what better way to start the new year than three tied games of PKL on the same day, right?
30-30: I don't believe this. We have our third tie of the day. Manjeet didn't risk trying to get a touch against three experiences Delhi defenders and came back to his side of the mat safely.
30-30: Sandeep Narwal goes in for the raid with less than a minute left. Mohit tries to tackle him but he is unable to push him off the mat. TT reviews claiming Sandeep stepped into the lobbies before being fouled but the replay shows it isn't the case. 22 seconds left. This is exciting stuff.
29-30: Smart work by Ajinkya as he wasted crucial seconds. Delhi had two defenders on the mat - Sandeep and Jeeva - who kept their cool and didn't commit. Empty raid.
29-30: Former India captain Ajay Thakur steps on the mat, goes in for the raid and umpire gives him the bonus point. However, TT reviews successfully and retains the lead.
29-30: He has done it again! Ajinkya Pawar went in for the do-or-die raid for TT, young sub Neeraj who had replaced Manjeet Chillar tried to hold him but Ajinkya was just too quick for him.
29-29: Scores level! Ashu Malik went in for the do-or-die raid but Ajinkya Pawar got the job done in defense for TT.
29-28: Manjeet gets the running hand touch on Delhi skipper Joginder and it is a game of just one point at the moment as TT asks for a timeout.
Oh man! Look how the tables have turned. The Thalaivas came out flying after its time out and has managed to reduced the deficit to just two points with Naveen Kumar off the mat. This is far from over with five minutes left on the clock.
29-27: SUPER TACKLE! A back hold of supreme quality on Naveen Kumar by Sagar earns him his third HIGH FIVE of his PKL career.
29-25: Do-or-die raid for TT. Athul took the responsiblity and finally, Manjeet Chillar lands a tackle.
28-22: SUPER TACKLE! Sagar manages to hold Naveen's ankle before Surjeet comes in to stop the Express from reaching its destination.
28-20: Things are looking settled now. TT raider Mohit steps into the lobbies without getting a touch. It's an eight-point lead for DD with ten minutes to play.
TT has taken a time-out.
24-19: Athul came in for the do-or-die raid from TT but Sandeep be like - Atithi tum nahin jaoge (You're not going anywhere, Mr. Guest!). Excellent ankel hold.
23-19: Naveen "settles" for a bonus point after Thalaivas defense stays alert and doesn't give him any opportunity to get a touch.
22-18: Vijay takes it on himself to go for the do-or-die raid for Delhi to protect Naveen. However, it's tough to rescue yourself once Manjeet executes an ankle hold perfectly.
20-17: Not this time, Bhavani Rajput, says Delhi. He got the bonus but didn't make it back to his side of the court.
17-16: And Surjeet is off as he tried to push Naveen off the mat. That was quick.
16-16: Thalaivas was staring at the all out but Bhavani Rajput used his height effectively to win a bonus and get a touch on Jeeva Kumar. Surjeet is back.
Tell you what, that brilliant tackle on Manjeet by Jeeva may have just turned the tide in Delhi's favour. Delhi has won the last seven points, Naveen Kumar is back and Thalaivas, like its previous games, has let go of a brilliant start.
HALF-TIME: Dabang Delhi 16-14 Tamil Thalaivas
15-14: Naveen Kumar gets his 26th consecutive SUPER 10 in PKL! While Abhishek on the left corner, who had just be subbed on for Thalaivas, stepped off the mat himself, the defender on the right corner unsuccessfully tried an ankle hold on Naveen and gifted another point.
11-14: SUPER TACKLE! Jeeva Kumar, you beauty! A successful charge into Manjeet and the Thalaivas' raider had no chance of getting out as Jeeva's teammate came right on time for the support. Guess what this means? Naveen Kumar is back.
Sandeep Narwal has been issued a yellow card for dangerous tackle.
9-14: Ashu Malik is successfully pushed off the mat by Surjeet. Delhi asked for a review as there was a possibility that Ashu may have won a bonus. Turns out he didn't.
9-13: Ajinkya goes for his first raid straight away after being subbed on and he proves the decision right as he gets a touch on Manjeet Chillar.
A couple of empty raids. Ajinkya Pawar has been subbed in by Thalaivas.
9-12: Another failed raid from Vijay as Thalaivas defense pushes him into the lobbies and off the mat. Naveen stays out.
9-10: Well, he is human after all. Surjeet manages to catch hold of Naveen's ankle and the entire defense goes in for the tackle.
8-9: Naveen Kumar single-handedly keeping Delhi in this game whose defense has been shoddy so far. Naveen got a running hand touch and Thalaivas couldn't do anything to stop him.
7-8: After seven consecutive raids from Naveen, in came Vijay from Delhi. Thalaivas' went in for the ankle hold and his team ably supported him.
7-6: Double-point raid from Naveen! Seven points already in six raids for the man-in-form.
4-5: Manjeet goes for the raid, easy bonus for the taking and he makes no mistake.
4-4: Needless and failed block from Sandeep Narwal and Bhavani Rajput gets an easy point.
3-3: Athul gets a touch. Parity restored.
1-1: Bonus points earned by Naveen and Manjeet in opening raids for their sides.
Tamil Thalaivas won the toss and it chose court. Delhi to raid first and it's Naveen Kumar first up.
LET THE PANGA BEGIN!
Daband Delhi has a 4-0 win-loss record against Tamil Thalaivas. Will it be 5-0 or will Tamil Thalaivas end its winless run against Delhi tonight? We'll find out soon. Meanwhile, Bengaluru Bulls has managed to get a tie from the jaws of defeat against Telugu Titans with a match winning elbow hold by Pawan Sehrawat on Rohit Kumar!
Check out the highlights here:
9:30pm: LINE UPS!
Dabang Delhi: Ashu Malik, Naveen Kumar, Manjeet Chillar, Sandeep Narwal, Vijay Malik, Joginder Narwal (c), Jeeva Kumar
Tamil Thalaivas: Surjeet Singh (c), Manjeet, Athul MS, Bhavani Rajput, Mohit Jakhar, Sahil Gulia, Sagar Rathee
9:25pm: If you're new to the PKL caravan and are wondering what super raids, super tackles, bonus points, do or die raids are, we have you covered.
9:20pm: After some frustrating ties, Thalaivas finally got its first win of the season yesterday when it beat Puneri Paltan 36-26. Not only that, it might have also found a new star or shall I say a do-or die specialist in Ajinkya Pawar who finished the game with 11 points. Whenever the men in blue were in danger, Ajinkya came up with crucial points.
9:15pm: Dabang Delhi has banked on the brilliance of Naveen Kumar this season. Naveen has bagged 66 points in four games to ensure Dabang Delhi remains undefeated and on top of the table. The agile raider also has the record for the most Super 10s in a season and most consecutive Super 10s to his name and brought up his 25th successive Super 10 in the last match against Bengal Warriors. Here's him talking about his time at the club and his love for methi (fenugreek) laddoos -
9:05pm: Before we get to see Dabang Delhi's Naveen Kumar (read Naveen Express) step on the mat against Thalaivas, you can follow my colleague Shyam's live coverage of the second match of the day currently taking place between Bengaluru Bulls and Telugu Titans here:
In the first match of the day, U Mumba and UP Yoddha played a thrilling 28-28 tie. Check the highlights here:
9pm: Hi folks! Hope you have had a great first day of 2022 so far. In case you haven't, no need to worry. Just sit, relax and watch some Pro Kabaddi League. Since it is a Triple Panga day, you are not too late to catch some live action between Dabang Delhi and Tamil Thalaivas.
Before we introduce you to the fixtures of the day, here's a look at the results from the last three days -
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