Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Shyam Vasudevan and I will be taking you through today's PKL 8 match between Haryana Steelers and Bengaluru Bulls.
Alright then, that brings us to the end of our Pro Kabaddi League coverage for the day. We will be back tomorrow. See you then!
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:
Bengaluru Bulls have coasted to their third successive win as Pawan Kumar Sehrawat's stunning performance propels the former champions to a 42-28 win over the Haryana Steelers.
Pawan was at his very best as he bagged 19 raid points and three tackle points to steer his side to the second spot on the PKL points table. The Haryana Steelers had a miserable start and showed some glimpses of a comeback in the second half but the Bengaluru Bulls defence was too good for them. Haryana Steelers is languishing on the ninth spot and the three teams below them have a game in hand.
FULL-TIME! Bengaluru Bulls storm to a commanding 14-point win over the Haryana Steelers.
28-42 Aman throws himself at Ashish and grabs his third point of the evening.
28-41 SUPER TACKLE! And it's Pawan who bags the two tackle points as he traps Vikash in a superb double ankle hold.
28-39 Pawan gets a kick in and another point. He's moved on to 20 now and Bengaluru Bulls have a 11-point lead with a minute to go.
Vikash has looked sprightly now and makes two lightning quick raids, but it's a case of too little too late. Where has this energy been along, I wonder.
27-38 Two in two for Vikash and he gets rid of Amit this time.
26-37 Vikash gets a running hand touch on GB More and the Bengaluru Bulls are down to three men.
25-37 SUPER TACKLE! That is a stunning piece of defending as GB More initiate the tackle with an ankle hold and Pawan and Amit run in to support him as it takes all three them to hold on to Rohit Gulia.
Rakesh Kumar is visibly upset with his men. He says beware of Pawan.
25-35 Rohit Gulia is a it again as he gets a kick on Mayur on right corner and also manages a touch on Mahender to pick up two more crucial points. Can he spark a late comeback for the Haryana Steelers?
23-35 Good work from Rohit Gulia, who turns around and gets two touches in a fine raid.
21-34 Jaideep got Pawan out a minute ago, but not this time! Pawan gets past his ankle hold and grabs a point.
21-33 That raid pretty much sums up Chandran Ranjit's evening. He's had five raids and four of them have been unsuccessful.
20-33 Meetu leaps past Saurabh but Mahender swoops in to pull Meetu back.
20-32 Pawan seems to have a little battle going on with Surender on the left corner. Pawan does not notice Jaideep's dash and is undone by a fine tackle.
19-32 Meetu claims a touch point and wants the bonus too, but the Haryana Steelers do not have a review left.
18-31 ALL OUT! Mayur lays the trap and the Bengaluru Bulls get their man as they trap Ashish and inflict the All Out.
17-28 Pawan eliminates Esmaeil inside the first 10 seconds of his raid and the Iranian has to jog back to the bench.
17-27 That's really good work from Ashish. He gets a touch on GB More and picks up th bonus point. That will bring another Haryana Steelers back on the mat.
15-27 Pawan gets rid of Ravi and Haryana Steelers are down to one man!
14-26 The Super Tackle chance was on but Jaideep is no match for Pawan. He lunges in with a late ankle hold and Pawan escapes it with aplomb.
14-24 Surender Nada makes the rare error and Pawan calmly picks up the point.
One of the key things Pawan had worked on ahead of PKL 8 was to raid from both sides. He's primarily a right-side raider but has worked hard to become equally effective on the left too and it's showing today.
14-23 GB More is in action again as he waits for the right moment before trapping Meetu in a strong ankle hold.
14-21 SUPER 10 FOR PAWAN! He picks up a bonus point and the High Flyer has brought up his third Super 10 of PKL 8.
14-20 Chandran's poor evening continues as he gets tackled with ease.
13-20 That is a really good tackle from GB More! He goes in with a thigh hold and that brings Pawan back on the mat!
Vikash was Haryana Steelers' best raider last season and was awarded the captaincy for PKL 8. In a chat with us last season, he opened up about his journey with the team, his goals and his love for pani puri -
HALF-TIME! A topsy-turvy opening half sees Bengaluru Bulls hold on to a six-point lead at 19-13. The Bengaluru Bulls, led by Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, have looked sharp all-around but have struggled when Pawan is on the bench. Haryana Steelers, on the other hand, have had a fairly muted half and will be expected to come out all guns blazing in the second half.
13-19 Chandran heads into his fourth raid, but to no avail. He's managed just the one bonus point so far.
13-18 Vikash draws the defender in and gets the better of him to pick up his fifth point of the game.
12-18 Pawan comes back on the mat but has been sent right back to the bench. He tries a back-kick on Surender twice and then attempts a reverse toe touch, akin to a rabona in football, but gets taken out.
11-17 Chandran's poor start continues as he tackled in his second raid too.
9-16 Ravi does here to block Pawan with a fine double ankle hold. Less than five minutes left on the clock.
8-16 That is a truly fearless tackle from Aman! He throws in the ankle hold and Saurabh gives him the requisite support to trap Vikash.
Lest you forget, Pawan scored a record 39 points against the Haryana Steelers last season.
7-15 Pawan skips out of Surender's ankle hold and he's now cruised to nine points!
7-14 That is a superb tackle from Aman. His audacious back-hold is just about enough to eliminate Meetu.
6-13 Pawan keeps the scoreboard ticking and picks up a bonus point.
Pawan reviews the umpires' decision and wants a bonus point. The replay shows that he had not got the bonus point and the Bengaluru Bulls have lost their review. Coach Randhir Singh is seething!
6-12 Pawan is simply too strong for the Haryana Steelers defence and races away with a point.
5-10 ALL OUT! The Bengaluru Bulls have inflicted the early All Out and have a five-point cushion now.
4-7 Wow, Pawan! He gets a touch on the right corner and uses the lobbies to escape another challenge and reduces the Haryana Steelers to just one man.
4-5 Pawan is all over the mat! He flummoxes Surender Nada with a burst of pace and gets a running hand touch on the veteran.
4-4 That was too predictable from Rohit Gulia and Pawan eliminates him with a sublime double thigh hold.
4-3 OUCH! Pawan races off the bench and runs straight in to raid and kicks Ravi square in the face! He apologises to Ravi, but that's got to hurt.
4-2 Superb stuff from Mahender. He lunges into a double ankle hold and that takes care of Haryana Steelers captain Vikash Kandola.
4-1 Bharat tries really well and tries to get to the mid-line with an extended hand, but Mohit comes in to deny him any chance.
3-1 The Haryana Steelers defence eliminates both the Bengaluru Bulls raiders right away! Chandran has to jog to the bench now.
1-1 Pawan has been tackled off an ankle hold from Mohit.
Bengaluru Bulls: Pawan Sehrawat, Mayur Kadam, Mahender Singh, Bharat, Chandran Ranjit, Saurabh Nandal, Aman
Haryana Steelers: Vikash Kandola, Ravi Kumar, Jaideep, Meetu, Rohit Gulia, Mohit, Surender Nada
We have a few minutes left for LIVE action. Before that, let's revisit what Rakesh Kumar, coach of the Steelers said:
On Vikash Kandola's 'off night': Nothing of the sort. Vikash is a very good player, everyone knows that when the team is in a position of trouble, he stands up and fights. It often happens that a player is not able to move to the best of their abilities but it is not right to say he did not perform today or his performance was low. We kept him out for a while so that he could cool down for a bit and then get back but the situation did not arise for him to come out and fight. The plans we made to make Rohit Gulia the lead raider, we did that and he performed very well and Meetu also played very well. So Vikash did not need to raid. It often happens that if a good raider keeps going at it continuously, then he manages to keep scoring. If he stops somewhere, the rhythm breaks. Vikash is that kind of raider. If he keeps going to raid, he will score, but if there's a break then he loses momentum. Someone's performance doesn't become good or bad based on one game.
On Haryana's tendencies to leak points in the end: Yes this is a point of a concern for me. If any team takes the lead, the opponent is the one that does and should come under pressure but my team tends to come under pressure when it takes the lead. I don't know why. I will work on this. I saw this in the last two games and saw it today too. The team's balance gets disrupted a little after and despite taking the lead. Why that happens and how is something I will work on and going forward you will see the team playing with a good rhythm for all 40 minutes.
8:20pm: Haryana Steelers comes off a win against Telugu Titans. Surprisingly, this was their first win. The team has looked solid but has often let things slip in the final few minutes.
8.15pm: Bengaluru Bulls comes into this game after a one-point win against Bengal Warriors - a game won on tactical brilliance. Watch the highlights of that game and let the match speak for itself.
8pm: Chennai, where we are based, has been experiencing some out-of-the-blue thunderstorms and rain and it seems like the weather has rubbed off on Kabaddi action today, with U Mumba raining down on Jaipur Pink Panthers in attack and defence in the first game of the day. Catch the live updates from this game here:
Before we introduce you to the fixtures of the day, here's a look at the results from the last three days -
- Australia vs Bangladesh Live Score, World Cup 2023: Hridoy smashes maiden WC fifty; BAN 228/4 (39)
- ENG vs PAK LIVE Score, World Cup 2023: Can Pakistan qualify if it wins vs England today?; Toss at 1:30 PM; Probable playing XI
- Asian half marathon C’ship: Indian men’s team wins gold, women’s team clinches bronze
- ENG vs PAK qualification scenarios: How can Pakistan reach World Cup semifinal; England Champions Trophy chances explained
- Manchester United’s Evans out for ‘next few weeks’ with injury