Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: UP Yoddha draws with U Mumba; Ajith Kumar impresses again, Pardeep struggles

Pro Kabaddi League Live Score: Get live updates and scores from the PKL 8 game between U Mumba and UP Yoddha being played in Bengaluru on Saturday.

U Mumba vs UP Yoddha

Fazel Atrachali will lead U Mumba's against Pardeep Narwal's UP Yoddha in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8) clash today.   -  Special Arrangement

Happy New Year! 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 U Mumba and UP Yoddha.

We head into the second match of the evening as the Bengaluru Bulls take on Telugu Titans. Join me on the blog here - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 LIVE: Pawan Sehrawat's Bengaluru Bulls locks horns with Telugu Titans

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:

 

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U Mumba will be unhappy with the result as the side had a healthy for large parts of the game. UP Yoddha did really well to claw its way back into the game in the second half and earned a well-deserved draw. However, a cause of concern for UP Yoddha will be Pardeep Narwal's form as the ace raider endured a poor outing and was taken off 10 minutes into the second half.

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U Mumba vs UP Yoddha

 

WE HAVE A TIE! UP Yoddha makes a fine comeback to earn a draw with U Mumba.

Ankit has gone in for the final raid and it looks like he's going to kill the clock.

28-28 Abhishek tries his best and darts all across the mat but to no avail!

Oh my, we're in for an absolute thriller! We have 48 seconds left and the scores are level. U Mumba to raid now.

28-28 Fazel's off! Ankit gets rid of the U Mumba captain with a superb back-kick.

27-27 Fazel rises to the ocassion. He waits and waits before leaping into a stunning ankle hold on Surender. UP Yoddha in a spot of bother now.

26-27 Yikes, call it the commentator's curse! Ajith has been tackled and UP Yoddha's taken the lead.

U Mumba seems to have the upper hand here. The side has both its key raiders in Abhishek and Ajith, while UP Yoddha has no Pardeep and has to bank on Surender.

26-26 Surender lands a kick on Mohsen and that takes his tally to seven points.

26-25 Surender gets the better of Sunil this time around and we head into the last five-minutes of this enthralling contest.

26-24 Fazel wanted Ajith to go on this raid and now we know why! He picks up two huge points and U Mumba is inching ahead.

24-24 We're back on level terms! Ankit jumps past Mohsen's tackle but the Iranian grabs him mid-air to bring his side back on level terms.

Pardeep has been taken off for Shrikanth. Wow, that's a bold move! Pardeep has put on his sweatshirt and it looks like his game is over.

23-24 Ajith's mercurial pace wins him a point as his constant shuffling across the mat sees Sumit step put of bounds.

Surender's Super Raid has completely turned the tables! U Mumba is short of four men and the captain is also on the bench! UP Yoddha has a two-point lead with a little over nine minutes to go and are within sniffing distance of inflicting an All Out.

21-24 SUPER RAID! Surender has finally come good! He escapes Fazel's ankle hold and skips past two other defenders on his way back to pick up three precious points.

21-21 Sumit is absolutely going after the U Mumba raiders and bags another point as he executes a perfect ankle hold on Abhishek.

21-20 Ankit thinks he's won a bonus point, but the umpires think otherwise. UP Yoddha reviews the decision but to no avail. UP Yoddha has no reviews left for the remaining 11 minutes.

UP Yoddha's right corner Sumit, the side's best-defender of the evening, has brought up a High 5.

20-19 Pardeep runs into a wall named Harender and his average outing continues.

19-19 ALL OUT U MUMBA! Ashu Singh makes a monstrous tackle to absolute flatten Shivam and the scores are level!

18-16 It's a do-or-die raid and Ankit has been given the respnsibilty. Ankit gets the job done as he escapes Rohit's challenge and only Fazel is on the mat for U Mumba!

18-15 Pardeep is back on the mat and has just two defenders to beat - Rahul and Fazel. However, he goes back empty-handed.

18-14 That's great work from Rohit Sethpal, who came on as a substitute. He traps Surender and has calmly picked up four points in quick time.

Surender picked up a heavy knock to this chin in the last game and hence he's sporting some heavy bandaging today.

16-14 Mohsen tries a double thigh hold on Surender, who's on the run, but the latter easily gets to the mid-line.

HALF-TIME! U Mumba has a three-point advantage heading into the interval. U Mumba's defence has been superb so far and has given Pardeep little no room, while Surender has also been kept quiet. The only positive of the half for UP Yoddha has been Sumit's performance, with the defender putting up a strong show and picking up four points.

16-12 SUPER TACKLE! U Mumba's defence is not to be breached as Rahul eliminates Pardeep. That's the second time Pardeep has failed to score a point when U Mumba had only three men.

14-12 SUPER RAID! Ajith Kumar shows why he's one of the best this season as he picks up a massive three-point raid and virtually runs past half of the UP Yoddha team!

10-12 U Mumba down to one man! Pardeep gets rid of the right corner ans Ajith has a lot on his plate now.

10-11 The Dubki King is back and how! He slips away from Fazel's challenge and gets a touch on Sunil to finally pick up his first raid points of the evening.

10-9 The decision has been reversed! UP Yoddha's referral works wonders and Abhishek Singh has been eliminated. Perhaps the best review of the season!

13-8 SUPER RAID! Abhishek Singh, wow! He does exceptionally well to wriggle past as many as three points. He was nearly taken off court but he showed tremendous strength to get his hand over the mid-line. UP Yoddha has reviewed the decision.

Quite a slow start for Pardeep....he's managed only one point in five raids and that too was a bonus point.

10-7 That is some stunning work from Fazel and Rinku. Fazel darts from the left and takes Surender out with a dash from behind.

9-7 Abhishek delivers on the do-or-die with a bonus point and U Mumba has taken a two-point lead with nine minutes to go.

7-7 SUPER TACKLE FOR U MUMBA x2! And it's a bone-crushing tackle as Rinku grabs on to Pardeep's ankle and the Dubki King has nowhere to go! 

5-6 SUPER TACKLE FOR U MUMBA! Mohsen and Rinky combine really well to shove Rohit off the court.

3-6 SUPER SUMIT! That's his third tackle point of the evening as he yanks away Ajith with a back hold. Great start here for UP Yoddha.

3-5 That's the big fish! Rohit Tomar does really well to get a touch on Fazel and the Sultan is off to the bench.

3-4 Sumit gets the better of Abhishek again! The U Mumba raider targets the left corner again and Sumit once again traps him with a superb ankle hold.

2-2 Ajith strikes! He gets rid of Surender, UP Yoddha's secondary raider, with a running hand touch.

1-1 It's a do-or-die raid and Abhishek has the option of picking up a bonus point, but he has been tackled. Sumit joins the party with a perfectly-timed ankle hold.

1-0 That is an excellent start for U Mumba. Pardeep heads in for a raid and Rinku catches him blind-sided. He grapples him in a back hold and Pardeep has to go to the bench.

UP Yoddha won the toss and chose court, U Mumba will raid first.

7:30pm: LINE UPS!

U Mumba: Fazel Atrachali, Abhishek Singh, Sunil, Harendra, Mohsen, Ajith Kumar, Rinku

UP Yoddha: Pardeep Narwal, Nitesh Kumar,  Ashu Singh, Shubham, Rohit, Surender, Sumit

7:25pm: The teams are out on the mat and we're minutes away from the first PKL game of the year! How do you think this game is going to play out?

7:20pm: Story plug! We had an interaction with U Mumba captain Fazel Atrachali day before after his side's win over Jaipur Pink Panthers. The Iranian spoke about his side's superb raiders in Ajith Kumar and Abhishek Singh, how he is finally finding the space to make more tackles and much more - U Mumba's Fazel Atrachali: If I don't go for the tackle, then I am not Fazel

7:15pm: Pardeep Narwal has picked up 34 points from four games and as ninth on the list of most raid points this season. The Dubki King has added a new element to his game this season as he's made more bonus attempts than before. However, he has struggled for support and for a proper second raider who can revive him when he's off the mat.

7:05pm: Our second game of the day will see third-placed Bengaluru Bulls face 11th-placed Telugu Titans. In the third and final game of the day, league leader Dabang Delhi K.C. will play against 6th-placed Tamil Thalaivas. A triple header to begin 2022!

7:00pm: Head to Head stats - U Mumba and UP Yoddha have met six times in PKL and both have won three games each.

6:55pm: Let's talk about Mr. Pardeep Narwal, better known as the Dubki King. The 24-year-old was signed by UP Yoddha for a phenomenal 1.65 crore to become the most expensive player in the history of the Pro Kabaddi League.

Main bolta bohot kam hoon (I don’t speak much),” he says in a chat with Sportstar. He's one of those players who let their game do the talking.

Having won three titles with Patna Pirates, he is eager to taste similar success with his new side. “We have a very balanced team with plenty of youngsters. The onus will be on me to steer the team as a seasoned player, but I have full faith in the team. We don’t have a trophy yet and I would like to change that this season,” he adds.

Pardeep Narwal

UP Yoddha signed Pardeep Narwal for ₹1.65 crore, making him the most expensive player in the Pro Kabaddi League.   -  Pro Kabaddi League

6:50pm: U Mumba easily beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 37-28 in its previous match to get its second win of the season. On the other hand, UP Yoddha played a 32-32 tie with Gujarat Giants courtesy of a Super 10 from Pardeep.

6:45pm: Speaking of Fazel, the Iranian defender is one of the best names in the League. He is the best-paid foreign player in the PKL and is among the best defenders in the modern age. He orchestrated Iran's win over India at the 2018 Asian Games and led the nation to the gold medal.

Fazel, one of the most entertaining players in the PKL, had a sit-down with us last season and spoke about his love for Bollywood, Indian food and his chance meeting with Amitabh Bachchan -

6:40pm: While Fazel Atrachali's U Mumba is nicely placed at fourth in the league table, Nitesh Kumar's UP Yoddha, which has the most expensive player in the league's history in Pardeep Narwal, is at ninth. But these are still early days and therefore, this could be anybody's game.

6:35pm: Hello folks, welcome to the first Pro Kabaddi League fixture of the new year between U Mumba and UP Yoddha.

Before we introduce you to the fixtures of the day, here's a look at the results from the last three days -

December 31: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: Magnificent Monu marshals Patna Pirates past Bengal Warriors, Ajinkya stars in Tamil Thalaivas' maiden win  

December 30: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: Pawan Sehrawat, Ajith Kumar bag Super 10s; Bengaluru Bulls, U Mumba post wins  

December 29: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: Naveen helps Dabang Delhi rout Bengal Warriors, Gujarat Giants draws with Pardeep's UP Yoddha  

Where to watch PKL 8?

You can watch all the games of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8) on the Star Sports Network. The matches will also be streamed live on the Disney+ Hotstar app.