Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Lavanya Lakshminarayanan and I will be taking you through today's PKL match between Tamil Thalaivas and U Mumba.
Catch details from the second game of the night there:
This was a roller coaster of a game! U Mumba started on the backfoot looking listless in defense. Tamil Thalaivas simply stuck to the basics and were able to nick points off this lineup. Fazel Atrachali, while rallying his forces, was himself cautious in the corners which led to a few slip ups. V Ajeet Kumar, who is a former Tamil Thalaivas player, posed tough questions to his former side, almost asking them why they didn't retain him with a solid 15-point haul which got U Mumba roaring back in the game. Going into the final raid with a slender lead of a point but with U Mumba facing a do-or-die raid, U Mumba needed a point which it did not manage thereby giving Tamil Thalaivas yet another draw.
30-30 Do-or-die raid for U Mumba and Ajith Kumar HAS to get a point here or concede a draw. He goes in and is tackled and Thalaivas have stolen ANOTHER DRAW in the dying seconds of a game. Can you believe it?
Mohit comes in now.
30-29 Thalaivas have gotten a touch but Surjeet reviews and asks for the bonus too. The touchpoint seems legitimate but the bonus does not seem to be right as the raider has just cut the black line.
Coaches corner now. Thalaivas need two points in this raid. Get a point and don;t allow them the bonus says the coach.
Under 30 seconds left. Ajith killing the clock now.
30-28 Ajith comes in for his 20th raid of the evening and has been tackled only twice. He is now killing the clock.
30-28 Ajith Kumar brings back Fazel but also gets a touch on Manjeet. Nicely done.
28-28 U Mumba has roared its way back into this game. Rinku's induction has brought some life into this backline. Referee says Thalaivas get a bonus and say that the defender was out also - the defender being Fazel. Fazel reviews it. Athul's bonus seems okay. We need to see if Fazel has a part of his body inside the mat. Fazel looks comfortably safe. He needs to be safe. His foot doesn't seem to have crossed the line. Should be a point each. REVIEW UNSUCCESSFUL. How is this possible? Referees believe Fazel was out of bounds completely and this decision helps Thalaivas level points. I am not convinced personally. Fazel looked safe.
Ajith has 14 raid points to his name. What a performance!
28-26 Fazel listens to his coach and puts his heart into that raid to get the Thalaivas raider out of the mat. Lovely this from U Mumba. They have to hold on to that lead.
U Mumba management: Fazel don't avoid the raider. Ajith, be brave and get point
27-26 ALL OUT. Ajith gets Surjeet to send the Thalaivas packing. He stares Surjeet down after the all-out. WHAT A GAME for this youngster.
24-26 Rinku learns from the earlier mistake and gets a thigh hold on Athul and sends him off. Lovely statement. Bonus though for U Mumba.
23-25 Ajith gets Sagar again and he's roaring.
22-25 Bonus plus Fazel going out for Tamil Thalaivas. Ridiculous from U Mumba here. Fazel gets a strong hold on Athul and a little assistance
22-23 Too easy for Ajith Kumar who has taken over the role of lead raider now. He gets a touch on the cover defender when the super tackle was on. Thalaivas feeding the opponent.
21-23 Ajith Kumar manages to tempt Sagar Krishna and is safe in the do-or-die raid.
20-23 Athul gets a bonus point from right under Fazel's nose
20-22 Ajith Kumar sends a defender off the mat and brings back Fazel Atrachali
19-22 Athul gets an advanced tackle (unnecessary, should we even say this) and a point for his side. Silly errors for U Mumba.
19-21 U Mumba has tackled Manjeet on the left corner. Prince the man to get the credit. Nicely done. U Mumba needs more of this to stay alive in this game.
18-21 Ajith Kumar is having a lovely game as he sends Sagar out to the bench. He gets a bonus too. Two points. SUPER 10 for V Ajith Kumar
16-21 Big gift to U Mumba from Sahil Singh. Sahil tries to lunge in from the side and Ajith takes him out while falling backward.
15-21 Ajith Kumar gets a bonus point for U Mumba
14-21 Fazel did not need to go in and get involved in this tackle of Bhavani Rajput. The Thalaivas raider gets two people to go back to the bench for U Mumba. Very out of sorts the U Mumba defense has been
14-19 Surjeet blocks Abhishek and stops his charge. U Mumba down now to five men.
14-18 Manjeet comes in and immediately takes two points for his team.
HT: U MUMBA 14-16 TAMIL THALAIVAS : U Mumba was trailing in this game by 10 points at one stage. The last two raids from Ajith Kumar which gave U Mumba six points in total has been the game changer. The U Mumba defence which is what makes them automatic favourites in a game has been ordinary at best with just one tackle point in the first 20 minutes. Meanwhile Tamil Thalaivas have been the better unit defensively with six tackle points and their raiders coming good. Can U Mumba figure itself out in the back? We'll have to wait and see.
14-16 ALL OUT. Oh how the tables have turned. Ajith, the Tamil boy, is hurting his old side and how. He has brought U Mumba back into this game. Six points in the last two raids for Ajith. Brilliant work.
11-16 SUPER RAID. INCREDIBLE RAID BY V AJITH KUMAR AGAINST HIS OLD SIDE. The Thalaivas try and shut him down but he jumps above them and tries to get out to the midline. But Thalaivas have a hold and come hard on him. Ajith wriggles out to the midline. He has three points to his name here.
8-16 Rahul Sethpal is sent off to the bench. Another point to the Thalaivas
8-15 Abhishek sends Sahil out of the mat as he oversteps.
7-15 Manjeet travels the court and tries to first secure the bonus. Fazel and the cover comes around and stops him by the bonus line. He has no way out.
6-15 Ajith does well to get a touch point here. Mohit is too eager and jumps at him. Ajith turns him and gets his foot across the line. Nicely done.
Four minutes to go.
5-15 Both teams given a point as the Thalaivas raider gets a bonu point while a U Mumba defender has stepped off the mat.
4-14 Ajith Kumar steals a point. Thalaivas should not leak points here. It's easy to lose the plot on your own side.
3-14 Ashish Sangwan forgets about how tall Manjeet is and goes for the legs. The rest of the U Mumba defence stays away and rightly so. Manjeet drags back and takes the point
3-13 Abhishek Singh shows his back to the Tamil Thalaivas attack and Sahil runs around and shuts him down with the rest of the unit coming around to back him.
3-12 Abhishek catches Surjeet - the captain. Let's see how this impacts the Thalaivas.
2-12 Fazel Atrachali makes a huge error as he goes for Manjeet while he has speed and distance on his side. U Mumba does not have a single tackle point to his name.
2-11 The Tamil Thalaivas have thumped down V Ajith Kumar. He was lured by Mohit and he takes the bait while the rest of the defence comes around him and blocks him out.
Abhishek Singh is now playing it safe. The doubts have crept into the U Mumba strategy here. Can they bounce back?
2-10 Fazel substitutes himself. But the raider - Ajinkya Kapre - is sent out. ALL OUT. Eight point lead for Tamil Thalaivas. Who saw this coming?
2-7 After an empty raid from Fazel, a super tackle opportunity faces U Mumba with Fazel and Prince on the mat. Manjeet tries to tempt the defenders and Fazel stays away but Atul falls for it and U Mumba is down to one man.
2-6 Manjeet comes in and is tackled in the left corner but is declared safe after a jersey pull
2-5 The U Mumba raider is tackled down in the corner. Abhishek won't be revived
2-4 Empty raid from Bhavani Rajput. He is happy to let the two hungry chains of the U Mumba backline be
2-4 Shivam gets a bonus point to avoid that do-or-die raid
1-4 V Ajith Kumar comes in and nearly gets two-three U Mumba players off but the Thalaivas see that dangling hand reaching for the mid line and pull it back.
1-3 Manjeet's kick finds the cover defender Ashish to get a point.
1-2 Abhishek comes in and tries to go deep into the Thalaivas gulf but he went to Surjeet who was waiting for him with a hold on his legs to tackle him down.
1-1 Manjeet comes in to raid for the Thalaivas and he gets the bonus point to open Thalaivas' account.
1-0 Abhishek Singh starts off with a running hand touch to get his first point
HERE WE GO. U Mumba will make the first raid
7.25pm: LINE UPS:
U Mumba: Abhishek Singh, Ashish Sangwan, Prince, Shivam, V Ajit Kumar, Rahul Sethpal, Fazel Atrachali
Tamil Thalaivas: Manjeet, Surjeet Singh, Mohit, Athul MS, Bhavani Rajput, Sagar, Sahil Singh
7.20pm: Tamil Thalaivas is right at the bottom of the pile while a win today can help U Mumba top the table. Exciting game awaits us.
7.15pm: 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.
7.00pm: 30 minutes to go for our first fixture of the day. Which is your favourite game of the league so far? Tweet to us on @sportstarweb and tell us.
6.50pm: U Mumba began with an emphatic win against Bengaluru Bulls but fell to Dabang Delhi in an exciting match which saw U Mumba struggle a bit against Naveen Kumar & Co. Fazel Atrachali rallies an energetic backline but the star for this side has undoubtedly been Abhishek Singh, who despite having a slightly slow game more recently, has worked on his strength and agility to be an improved raider this time around. On paper and going by the momentums of both teams, U Mumba might just have a slight edge but should Prapanjan find his rhythm and ably support Manjeet, U Mumba might have a harder task on hand than they think.
6.30pm: Tamil Thalaivas has had an underwhelming start to the season with a draw against Telugu Titans and a reasonably heavy eight-point loss to Bengaluru Bulls in their most recent outing. U Mumba is by no means an easy opponent to bounce back against. What works for the Thalaivas this time around is a marginally better raiding outfit. Manjeet, their big ticket Rs.90L+ signing has come good for the side in both games, with his defensive contributions also coming to the fore in the game against the Bulls. Surjeet Singh has been rallying his forces in the defence but the side could use tighter tackles to actually stop the point leaks and if Abhishek Singh's imperious form is something to go by, the Thalaivas have to be much better in the back.
6pm: Good evening everyone! Welcome to live coverage of PKL action today. We have two interesting encounters on the cards today - Tamil Thalaivas take on U Mumba in the first game while UP Yoddha take on Jaipur Pink Panthers in the second game.
Before we go into details of the first game, here's a recap of yesterday's fixtures where Dabang Delhi and Gujarat Giants settled for a draw while Pawan Sehrawat guided Bengaluru Bulls to a thrilling win over Bengal Warriors.
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