For one final time this season and until next time, this is Shivansh Gupta bidding you all goodbye! CIAO!
Congratulations to Bengal Warriors for lifting its maiden title.
Now, the moment they have all been waiting for. The trophy presentation ceremony and THAT'S IT! Anothe enthralling season of Kabaddi comes to an end.
Winner cash award- 3,00,00,000 (Rs 3 cr)
Now, the winner medals being handed out to Bengal Warriors by Kiren Rijiju.
Runners-up cash award- 1,80,00,000 ( Rs 1 cr 80 lakh)
Medals being handed out to the runners-up first. Dabang Delhi's players and coach collect their medals.
TIME FOR THE AWARDS CEREMONY:
After 137 matches spread across 91 days, we have our most valuables.
Referee of the season- Mr. Shankar
New Young player of the season- Sumit of UP Yoddha. 77 tackle points in the left corner.
Raider of the season- Pawan Sehrawat of Bengaluru Bulls. 346 raid points.
Defender of the season- Fazel Atrachali of U Mumba. 82 tackle points in the left corner.
Most Valuable Player of the season (MVP)- Naveen Kumar of Dabang Delhi. 21 consecutive Super-10s, 22 in total and 301 raid points.
Raider of the match: Naveen Kumar
Defender of the match: Jeeva Kumar
Gamechanger of the match: Mohammad Nabibakhsh
Moment of the match: Mohammad Nabibakhsh ( solo all-out that he inflicted. The four-point raid )
Stylish player of the match: Naveen Kumar (18 raid points on the night)
Bengal came into the contest as the most complete team and put up an all-round show to stop the juggernaut of Dabang Delhi.
Bengal stayed true to its form and ended the team as the only team that was not beaten by Dabnag Delhi.
You have to feel bad for Naveen Kumar, who scored a mammoth 22 Super-10s, 21 in succession, but still could not help his team get over the line.
BENGAL WARRIORS ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF PRO KABADDI LEAGUE SEASON SEVEN!
Ladies and gentlemen, Pro Kabaddi League has new champions. BENGAL WARRIORS CLINCHES ITS FIRST PKL TITLE!
FULL-TIME! NAVEEN KUMAR PUTS IN AN EMPTY RAID AND BENGAL WARRIORS WIN!
34-39: Delhi playing a high line of defence and another error. Sombir gifts a point.
34-38: Naveen, once again, gets a touch point off the left corner but it might not be enough. Off Rinku Narwal goes to the bench.
33-38: Do-or-die raid for Bengal AND THAT'S CURTAINS ON THE GAME! WITH 44 SECONDS TO GO, SOMBIR HAD JUST COME IN FOR PAHAL IN THE RIGHT CORNER. BUT HE DID NO DIFFERENT! POOR ANKLE HOLD ATTEMPT ON THE RAIDER RAVINDRA KUMAWAT!
33-37: Naveen Kumar puts in a quick and a very good raid. He gets a brilliant kick touch off Adarsh T. THAT'S 300TH RAID POINT FOR NAVEEN THIS SEASON.
32-37: TWO-POINT RAID FROM NAVEEN AND THAT'S BETTER! Rinku with a failed ankle hold and Nabibakhsh didn't need to get involved there. Now, this could get a little tricky for Bengal. Is this the opening Delhi needed? ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THIS SPORT! HOLD TIGHT, FOLKS!
30-37: Another bonus for Naveen. He scores his 14th point of the night and THERE WE GO! Slow raids coming in from Bengal. The team has the luxury of two empty raids.
29-37: Do-or-die raid for Bengal and Ravindra Kumawat delivers. Brilliant running hand touch on Joginder Narwal, who once again was slow on the retreat. THE DEPTH OF BENGAL WARRIORS HAS BEEN STUNNING THROUGH THE NIGHT!
29-36: Once again, Naveen picks up a bonus but Bengal won't mind.
LESS THAN FOUR MINUTES TO GO!
28-36: NO, THIS IS NOT GOING TO HELP! Naveen Kumar picks up a bonus, but due to paucity of time, Delhi needs Naveen to put in multi-point raids.
27-36: COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MAN! Jeeva Kumar is marshalling the defence really well. Brilliant assist for Sukesh, who tackles Vijay after the raider managed to pick up a bonus.
26-35: Do-or-die raid for Bengal and Sukesh makes short work of the raid. Ravinder with a nothing ankle hold attempt on Hegde, who escapes to safety with ease. SIXTH UNSUCCESSFUL TACKLE ON THE NIGHT FOR PAHAL!
26-34: Delhi thinks Naveen should get a bonus. Replay shows it was an invalid attempt and EVEN DELHI WASTES ITS REVIEW.
26-34: Delhi's defence is really hurting the team. We know that it tends to crumble under pressure and especially when Naveen is kept mute. Bengal has done its homework and so far, B.C. Ramesh's men have executed their plans really well.
26-34: Naveen Kumar gets a touch point off Rinku Narwal before Vijay picked up a bonus.
24-34: ALL-OUT NO. 3! JOGINDER NARWAL CONCEDES THE ALL-OUT TO SUKESH AND THE SKIPPER HAS BEEN POOR TODAY! DELHI IN DEEP WATERS!
24-31: Another all-out incoming. Why is Vishal Mane being sent in to raid and he is shown his way out by Rinku Narwal.
24-30: NABIBAKHSH GETS RID OF ANIL KUMAR. LIKE THE PREVIOUS MATCHES, DELHI'S DEFENCE IS CRUMBLING UNDER PRESSURE!
24-29: DELHI DOWN TO THREE MEN! Baldev Singh with a brilliantly timed tackle on Ranjit.
24-28: Bengal is firing in both departments. First, Sukesh sent Vijay back to the bench, before Rinku Narwal contained Naveen Kumar with a brilliant back hold in the left corner.
24-26: SUPER-10!! 21ST CONSECUTIVE SUPER-10 FOR NAVEEN KUMAR AND 22ND OF THE SEASON! INSANE TALENT! He gets to the milestone with a bonus point.
23-26: I mentioned how Joginder has been tentative. Let me mention that so is Pahal, compared to his standards. Another failed tackled and this time, it was Sukesh.
23-25: BONUS PLUS ON BY NAVEEN KUMAR! He picks up the bonus and then easily evade Kumawat's nothing block and he has now bagged nine raid points so far.
21-25: ALL-OUT NO. 2 ON DELHI AND IS THIS WHERE BENGAL BEGINS TO RUN AWAY WITH THE GAME? Vishal Mane comes in to raid, gets the bonus and then runs out of bounds.
20-22: DELHI DOWN TO ONE MAN! Nabi sends Joginder to the bench with a running hand touch.
20-21: LOOKS LIKE JEEVA HAS SAVED HIS BEST FOR THE LAST! Another brilliant dash this time as he sends Anil Kumar packing with a brutal dash.
20-20: Do-or-die raid for Bengal AND POINT GIFTED! VIJAY THROWS IN A DESPERATE DIVING ANKLE HOLD ON RAVINDRA KUMAWAT. Why didn't Joginder come to support? The Delhi skipper has been so tentative tonight.
20-19: Bonus picked up by Vijay.
19-19: WELL DONE, JEEVA! Bengal cannot prevent from conceding a bonus to Naveen Kumar before he is dashed out by Jeeva Kumar just in the nick of time.
18-18: Do-or-die raid for Bengal. Nabi is in, he leaves it late and he feels he has a touch on Naveen Kumar. But instead, he is ruled of bounds. One point given to Delhi. Nabi reviews the call, claiming a touch on Naveen Kumar. Replay shows Naveen's hand or foot was nowhere close to the raider's foot. REVIEW UNSUCCESSFUL AND BENGAL WASTES ITS REVIEW. ORIGINAL DECISION STANDS
17-18: CAPTAIN NOW STRIKES IN THE DEFENCE! A diving double thigh hold from Nabibakhsh on Chandran Ranjit and Delhi's secondary raider is off to the bench.
AND WE ARE BACK WITH THE FINAL HALF OF THE SEASON
HALF-TIME! What a brilliant half we just had. So fast-paced and it was full of action. Just a total of two do-or-die raids bear testament to that. We couldn't have asked for a better start to the clash that matters the most.
17-17: Naveen Kumar comes in for the final raid of the first half and the half comes to an end with an empty-raid.
17-17: Naveen brings his team back level. Both teams are fighting tooth and nail. Rinku Narwal is off to the bench.
16-17: BENGAL TAKES THE LEAD AS Nabi gets the better of Ravinder Pahal with a running hand touch.
16-16: SCORES LEVEL! Sukesh Hegde gets Anil Kumar in the left cover and what a way for Bengal to bounce back.
16-15: Bonus but that's all C. Ranjit gets. He is pinned down by Jeeva Kumar.
15-14: ALL-OUT! SIMPLE SENSATIONAL FROM NABIBAKHSH AND IT'S A ONE-POINT GAME NOW. Pahal first tries to stop him with a double thigh hold and Anil Kumar came in with the support, but Nabi overpowers all of them and it's game on!
15-10: Last man in is Anil Kumar AND WE HAVE JUST SEEN A MOMENT OF MAGIC! he gets a running kick on Rinku Narwal. HE TAKES EVERYONE BY A SURPRISE THERE!
14-10: DELHI DOWN TO ONE MAN and it's Nabibakhsh with the real damage. Easy running hand touch on Meraj Sheykh.
14-9: NABI is enjoying his captaincy. He runs towards Ranjit, pushes off his back and tumbles back to safety. C. Ranjit is eliminated.
14-8: Another error from the Bengal defence and it's Baldev Singh, who concedes the point with a weak back hold on Meraj Sheykh.
13-8: Nabibakhsh reduces the deficit to five. He catches the left corner in Joginder Narwal off-guard, who was slow to retreat. In the end, easy pickings for Nabi.
13-7: Do-or-die raid for Delhi. Meraj Sheykh saves himself with a bonus in the right corner of Bengal.
12-7: Do-or-die raid for Bengal. First one of the night. Bengal skipper Nabi is in and he gets through. He gets past Vijay's solo block, uses the lobby and jogs back to safety.
12-6: NAVEEN IS FLOORED AND OFF HE GOES TO THE BENCH! Jeeva Kumar with a short block turned into a dash on Naveen, after the raider got a bonus point.
11-5: Sukesh takes care of Ravinder Pahal in the left corner, who fails with a weak ankle hold attempt. Sukesh tumbles, but drags himself back to safety on time.
11-4: FIRST TACKLE POINT FOR BENGAL AND IT'S BALDEV SINGH. C. Ranjit has to go back to the bench.
11-3: ALL-OUT! DELHI TAKES LESS THAN 8 MINUTES TO INFLICT THE FIRST ALL-OUT ON BENGAL. Last man in was Kumawat, who is goes out of bounds after pinching a bonus.
8-2: BENGAL DOWN TO ONE MAN! Rinku Narwal couldn't do much there, especially with the speed and agility he possesses.
7-2: Kumawat with a bonus.
7-1: NAVEEN IS ON FIRE AND BENGAL DOWN TO TWO MeN! He pulls off a great dubki under the chain tackle of Baldev Singh.
6-1: FINALLY, THE FIRST POINT OF THE FINAL FOR BENGAL! AND IT'S NONE OTHER THAN RAVINDER PAHAL IN THE LEFT CORNER. Ravindra Kumawat comes off the bench and sends veteran defender of Delhi to the bench.
6-0: Bengal is down to two men! Naveen Kumar gets a running toe touch on Jeeva kumar.
5-0: NOW, SUKESH HEGDE HAS BEEN SENT TO THE BENCH! ANIL KUMAR, ONCE AGAIN, WITH A BRAVE SOLO THIGH HOLD. BRUTAL!
4-0: PAHAL STRIKES WITH A BRILLIANT ANKLE HOLD ON NABIBAKHSH AND DELHI IS BREATHING FIRE! 'The Hawk' in the left corner is a beast and the Bengal raiders have to be carefuk.
3-0: FIRST POINT OF THE FINAL FOR NAVEEN. He gets a brilliant running hand touch on the right cover off Mayur Shivtarkar, who usually starts slow. The defender was slow on the retreat.
2-0: Naveen 'Express' Kumar comes in for his first raid of the match and goes back empty-handed.
2-0: K. Prapanjan comes in for his first raid of the match and Anil Kumar draws first blood from the left cover. He dashes Prapanjan out with great force.
1-0: Chandran Ranjit comes in for the first Delhi raid. He gets his night going with a bonus point.
0-0: Sukesh Hegde comes in for the first raid of the match. He is happy to go back empty-handed.
HERE WE GO!!!
WE WILL SOON FIND OUT WHO WILL BE CROWNED CHAMPIONS!
IT'S THE GRAND FINALE! THIS IS THE DAY 12 TEAMS HAD BEEN WAITING FOR AND ONLY TWO OF THEM COULD MAKE IT.
Amit Trivedi kicks off the night with the national anthem. With him is Kiren Rijiju, the Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
->Maninder Singh still hasn't recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained the last time these two teams met. Yes, Mani will not be featuring tonight.
->Apart from that, both teams go unchanged into the final from the semifinals.
Our reporter Shyam Vasudevan brings you live pictures from the EKA Arena in Ahmedabad.
Bengal Warriors skipper Maninder Singh has been ruled out of the final of season seven of the Pro Kabaddi League against Dabang Delhi on Saturday.
The ace raider picked up an injury to his shoulder during a league game against Dabang Delhi, the team the Warriors are up against in the final and has been recovering since.
While Bengal will miss the Maninder's services on the mat and his ability to lead a team with a cool head, the team's raiding efficacy is unlikely to be affected considering names in its ranks like K. Prapanjan, Sukesh Hegde and Mohammed Nabibakhsh who starred for the side through the league stage and in its semifinal clash against U Mumba.
While Maninder seemed eager to feature in the summit clash, the Bengal Warriors' physio was unsure about his unavailability for the game. It will be a long 40 minutes for the
KEY BATTLES TO LOOK FORWARD?
NAVEEN KUMAR VS RINKU NARWAL: Will Rinku Narwal in the left corner for Bengal Warriors be able to contain Naveen 'Express' Kumar?
PAHAL-JOGINDER vs HEGDE: If the veteran corner defenders of Delhi (Ravinder Pahal in left and Joginder Narwal in the right) get firing, then it will be very difficult for the Bengal raiders to pinch points off its oppositon? Who will win the batter first?
Tweet to us at Sportstarweb and let us know what you think
While we wait for season seven final to begin, you can go through the preview, the key stats and other important information related to the grand finale below:
GRAND FINALE PREVIEW by our reporter Shyam Vasudevan
A bright LED banner bearing the faces of India's biggest kabaddi stars greets you as you get off the shuttle bus and enter Ahmedabad airport. The news that the playoffs and final of the seventh season of the ProKabaddi League (PKL 2019) are to be held in the city is hard to miss due to the sheer number of these posters – placed by the conveyor belts, restrooms, and the exits.
With composer-singer-lyricist Amit Trivedi set to perform at the opening ceremony, kabaddi is the talk of the town. The platform is set for a new champion to come through. Bengal Warriors faces Dabang Delhi in the PKL 2019 final on Saturday.
After three months and 136 matches, it is fitting that the two teams that topped the table will vie for glory. This isn't the most expected final, though. Many favoured defending champion Bengaluru Bulls and season two-champion U Mumba to make it to the summit clash.
The semifinals, however, threw up a different tale. Led by B.C. Ramesh, Bengal Warriors became the second team to progress to the final after sealing a tense 37-35 triumph over U Mumba. The Warriors started the season as the underdog, but grew in strength.
The side opted for an overhaul and let go of big names in Jang Kun Lee, Surjeet Singh, and Ran Singh. What did the trick was that it roped in coach Ramesh, who led Bulls to the title last season. The team also made a smart money move to grab all-rounder Mohammed Esmaeil Nabibakhsh for Rs 77.5 lakh.
The Iranian has shown signs of emerging as a spectacular catch. The Warriors enjoyed an unbeaten run at home and stayed in the top half of the table throughout. Cruising to 14 wins from a possible 22, the side rode on Maninder Singh's 205 raid points and defensive anchor Baldev Singh's 64 tackle points to sail through.
Coming together as a cohesive unit and not being dependent on one player set the team apart.The Bulls, on the other hand, was heavily dependent on Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, while Patna Pirates relied solely on Pardeep Narwal.
Maninder suffered a shoulder injury and was kept out of the semifinal, but it did not dampen spirits. Veteran Sukesh Hegde ensured the Warriors did not miss Maninder as he pocketed eight points and received strong support from Nabibakhsh to see the side through.
The support raiders in K. Prapanjan, Nabibakhsh, and Hegde have contributed 49 percent of the team's total raid points this season, showcasing the team's all-round display. The Warriors will, in a sense, take on a very similar opponent in Dabang Delhi.
Delhi's flawless campaign can be attributed to its harmony between youth and experience. The seasoned defensive quartet of Ravinder Pahal, Joginder Narwal, Anil Kumar and Vishal Mane has been indomitable, while 19-year-old Naveen Kumar has enjoyed a scintillating campaign, surging into a league of his own.
Proving himself as the most consistent player of PKL 2019, Naveen has scored an astounding 20 consecutive Super 10's, meaning he has scored a minimum of 10 points in the last 20 matches he has played. But there's more to the side's raiding than just him, as Chandran Ranjit and Vijay have also chipped in with crucial points.
Much like Warriors, Dabang Delhi is no one-man show. That begs the question, what will separate these two sides?
"We are two of the best teams in the final. We will both go in with our strategies and look for the win — no team wants to lose. The team that makes fewer errors will emerge victorious tomorrow. I can assure you that it will be a great game," said Dabang Delhi's coach Krishnan Kumar Hooda.
Bengal Warriors might just hold the edge. It is the only team Dabang Delhi has not beaten this season. Will Bengal Warriors keep the unbeaten streak alive or can Dabang Delhi power through? All answers at the EKA Arena on Saturday.
Here are some of the key talking points ahead of the biggest game of the season:
- Maninder scare for Bengal Warriors -
Bengal Warriors' captain Maninder Singh remains a doubt for the PKL 2019 final. The muscular raider picked up a shoulder injury during the final league stage match against Dabang Delhi and hasn't taken to the mat yet.
Talking ahead of the final, Maninder said he is keen to play but will need a clearance from the team's physio. “It's a huge match and I'm raring to go, but I also need to be declared fit to play,” he said.
In the event that Maninder is declared unfit, Warriors has enough firepower in its support raiders to take the team through. K. Prapanjan, Mohammed Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, and Sukesh Hegde have contributed 49 percent of the team's total raid points and are equipped to get the job done. But the side will hope that Maninder, who has 205 points to his name in PKL 2019, can feature in the last game of the season.
Dabang Delhi had a bit of an injury scare when seasoned campaigner and captain Joginder Narwal appeared to have suffered back spasm. The veteran had missed the pre-match conference on Friday, but has recovered since
Dabang Delhi has one of the most watertight defensive units with Vishal Mane as right cover, Ravinder Pahal as right corner, Anil Kumar as left cover and Joginder as left corner. While Joginder is almost certain to play the PKL 2019 final, in the unlikely event that he is ruled out, Iran's Saeid Ghaffari could take his spot on the mat.
- Coach vs disciple: Hooda versus Ramesh -
One key battle to look forward to at the PKL 2019 final is the battle of the coaches – Krishan Kumar Hoods versus B. C. Ramesh. Dabang Delhi coach Hooda was the Indian kabaddi national team's coach when Ramesh was a player! From there to now facing off in the final, the two have enjoyed a remarkable relationship.
Showering affection on his mentee, Hooda said: “I want to congratulate Ramesh for developing into such a good coach. He won the title with Bengaluru Bulls last year and he is in the final again this year. I was casually telling him that if we had PKL during his playing days, then he would have easily fetched bids upward of Rs. 1 crore.”
Ramesh promised his team would put up a good show and also hinted at the luck factor: “The final is a great platform for the players to show their skills. It is a fine chance for us to promote the game and to take it past cricket,” he said. “We had luck with us when I was with the Bulls last year and it plays a huge role. Let's see who luck favours in the final,” he added.
- The Naveen Kumar factor -
Naveen Kumar has broken records aplenty this season. The most fascinating being his record astonishing record of 20 consecutive Super 10's. Firmly establishing himself as the league's most consistent player, Naveen has scored a minimum of 10 points over the last 20 games he has played.
And going into the PKL 2019 final, the 19-year-old seems to already have the upper hand over the Bengal Warriors defence. He has a 6-1 record against left corner Rinku Narwal, while he has a 7-3 record against right cover Mayur Shivtarkar.
Naveen has also scored the most points in the opening 10 minutes this season -- 80 points – and Dabang Delhi will hope he can get the side off to a strong start against a defence that he has outfoxed on previous occasions.
Key stats and milestones to look out for by our reporter Shyam Vasudevan.
Ahead of Saturday's PKL final, here are some key stats:
- Number of times Dabang Delhi has beaten Bengal Warriors in PKL 2019
1 - Dabang Delhi and Bengal Warriors will both be playing their first PKL final
2 - Bengal Warriors' Sukesh Hegde will be playing his second PKL final. He captained Gujarat Fortunegiants in season five, but ended up on the losing side
3 - Dabang Delhi's Vishal Mane needs three tackle points to reach 200 tackle points | If Dabang Delhi wins, Vishal will become the first player to win the PKL title with three teams (Season two with U Mumba, Season five with Patna Pirates)
4 - Naveen Kumar finished four matches with zero failed raids, the only raider to do so. Among raiders who have made a minimum of 200 raids this season, Naveen has failed the least number of raids (15 per cent) | Bengal Warriors' Jeeva Kumar will be playing in his fourth PKL final. All his previous finals were with U Mumba.
5.8 - Dabang Delhi averages 5.8 bonus points per game, the second highest this season
7 - Bengal Warriors is the best when it comes to staging comebacks - it has staged a comeback in seven of the 10 matches where it has trailed by three points or more the second half of PKL 2019
19 - Dabang Delhi's ace raider Naveen Kumar is 19 years old, the youngest in the PKL 2019 final
14 - The number of times the two sides have faced each other in PKL - both teams have won six times, while two games ended in a tie
20 - Number of Super 10's Naveen Kumar has registered this season
49 - Bengal Warriors' support raiders in K. Prapanjan, Mohammed Esmaeil Nabibakhsh and Sukesh Hegde have contributed to 49 per cent of the team's total raid points, Maninder has contributed 42 per cent
64 - Bengal Warriors' right corner Baldev Singh heads into the PKL 2019 with the 64 tackle points, the most among the finalists and fifth-best in the league
80 - Number of raid points Naveen Kumar has scored in the first 10 minutes of games so far - the most in PKL 2019
100 - This will be Sukesh Hegde's 100th PKL match
205 - Maninder Singh has 205 raid points to his name
285 - Naveen Kumar is third on the list of total points this season as he has pocketed 285 points ahead of the final
You can watch the live streaming of both the semifinals on Hotstar.
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