Pro Kabaddi as it happened: Gujarat thrashes Thalaivas by 29 points, Haryana lose first home tie

Haryana still need a win to qualify, Thalaivas succumb to a merciless Gujarat thrashing in PKL action from Day 01 of the Panchkula leg.

Rahul Chaudhari walks away with a dubious 20 unsuccessful raids as the Thalaivas struggle to stay alive in this game against the Gujarat Fortunegiants.   -  ProKabaddi

HELLO THERE, Panchkula!

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of Friday's Pro Kabaddi League matches at the Tau Devilal Sports Complex in Panchkula, the home of the Haryana Steelers.

Shivansh has taken a well-deserved break tonight. This is Lavanya filling in for the night, bringing all the live action, commentary, scores and updates to you as it unfurls from the league.


LIVE: Scores read Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Tamil Thalaivas

That's all from Panchkula today. Thank you for staying with us. We apologise for all the lags in between! It's been great bringing these matches to you. Usual suspect Shivansh is back tomorrow to bring you our live coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. Until then, its goodbye from me,Lavanya. Have a great weekend!
 

Recap of the day

Haryana Steelers 30-37 UP Yoddha

A disappointing defensive show and an off-day for star raider Vikas Kandola saw the Steelers struggling against a determined UP Yoddha line-up.

Good news, Dharmaraj Cheralathan is back in the mix but the team cannot afford to start from scratch right now. It is one win away from a playoff berth and can use a string of wins to tighten that hold over the top three.

Gujarat Fortunegiants 50-21 Tamil Thalaivas

The Thalaivas have shown no will to play and play well in their last few games. There are clear issues in communication. It is each man for himself on the mat when they come out to play which, quite obviously, can mean no good in a team sport.

Gujarat came into a must-win tie sans Sunil Kumar and did well, with rusty parts of the defence and two raiders stepping up to the task. 50 points and a 29-point victory margin are spoils to savour, which Gujarat certainly must.

It takes on home side Haryana tomorrow which will want a win at all costs tomorrow to 'Steel the deal' (Get it?)

The Thalaivas may be playing for pride here but a larger picture needs to be placed before these players as the league nears its last quarter.



Sad game from the Thalaivas today to end the night but we have exciting games coming up tomorrow, thank god for that. Puneri Paltan takes on Dabang Delhi while home side Steelers will come searching for that win against the Fortunegiants who will take to the mat again.

Thalaivas score difference stands at -113. What do we even say about a figure like that! Knew the triple figures were ominous going into this game! Called it!

The whistle goes and this torture game ends for the Thalaivas. Biggest win for Fortunegiants, the margin is 29. No positives to take away for the Thalaivas tonight.

50-21
Harmanjit removes Hemanth. 50 points up for the Fortunegiants. Third time this season that the Tamil Thalaivas have given away fifty points or more.

49-21 4
6 seconds left. Can Gujarat get to 50? YES THEY CAN. 49 now. Rahul Chaudhari goes for Parvesh Bhainswal whose thigh hold Chaudhari cannot escape.

45-20
The Thalaivas have managed to go ahead of the 20-point mark. It looked impossible at one point. Yashwant Bishnoi takes out Pankaj. Under two minutes remain. Who wants this bloodbath to end?

Sonu Jaglan is the local boy. He has been tackled just twice today and has picked up 13 points so far. Good show from him. It has not been a flawless game but he's done what was expected of him tonight.

Gujarat has done well sans Sunil Kumar. It hasn't used the third raider. Two raiders are doing the job. Slim pickings for Rahul Chaudhari who has just four points from this game so far.

44-19 Make that 20 unsuccessful tackles.
And that's the average over their last six games. Sonu is not complaining. He has carried Ponparthiban to the midline on the left side of the mat and safely through. The Thalaivas are sinking.

43-17
Nineteen unsuccessful tackles from the Tamil Thalaivas. That's more unsuccessful tackles than points. This tells the story of the game right there!

40-15
Oh easy bonus for Rahul Chaudhari there coming in from the middle and with that he completes 1000 points in PKL.

40-14
AND ANOTHER ALL-OUT. COMPLETELY UNDONE, THE THALAIVAS. Rohit Gulia walks in and takes Himanshu and Ponparthiban Subramanian to also give himself a super 10 along with points from the all-out. Oh, Thalaivas. What have you done! Fortunegiants look poised to get to 50 points tonight and Manpreet and Co. could use that boost now.

36-14 Super 10 for Sonu Jaglan as he gets Rahul Chaudhari out from that left cover. Just look at that skewed scoreline. This is sad to watch.

33-13 Oh, there's a small effort. Some of these boys are trying. They are really trying. Himanshu pulls out Ruturaj Koravi and Pankaj.
 

Meanwhile, MILESTONE ALERT: ROHIT GULIA

Rohit Gulia Has Completed 200 Raid Points Overall



28-11
It doesn't seem to matter because a second all-out has been inflicted on the Tamil Thalaivas. Gujarat is running away with this game. Sonu makes quick work of Ponparthiban Subramanian sending him to the bench first and then bringing the entire outfit back, but not before handing his team a few valuable and hard-earned points. This is a massacre.


Thalaivas have pulled out Ran Singh and Mohit Chhillar in quick succession. Huge decision. Exposes that left cover now.

Oh I think I spoke too soon. The charm ends there, Gujarat has sensed an attempt at a fightback and is quashing every raiding effort the Thalaivas are bringing to the table. Empty and unsuccessful raids seem to be the flavour of the game for the Thalaivas. he defence as clueless as the raiders.

20-11 Oh brilliant effort from Vineet.
Subbed in, he proves effective. He's taken out that left chain with Pankaj and Rohit Gulia to give his side two crucial points. That lead is now down to 9 points.

SUBSTITUTION for the Thalaivas
: Vineet Sharma comes in while  Hemant Chauhan steps out.

Our games lately have had key players go missing from the mat. First it was Ajay Thakur for a few games, then came Dharmaraj and now we have Rohit Kumar from the defending champions missing a few games on the trot. For those missing Rohit on the mat, we have you covered in this candid chat we had with the man. Hope this helps lift your spirits from this game too.



There goes that half-time whistle. Good defence and a few successful raids from Rohit Gulia have brought the scoreline to 20-9 at half-time. Sad state of affairs for the Thalaivas.

16-7 At this point in the game, it is hard to see who is calling the shots in the Thalaivas camp - is it Rahul Chaudhari or Ran Singh? Who is signing off on these changes? Nine unsuccessful tackles so far from the Thalaivas and Gujarat is thriving in the mayhem. It feels like the Thalaivas do not know that a game involving another team is unfolding there on the mat. Too tangled internally here.  Two minutes to go for half-time.

Ran Singh and Mohit Chhillar have been ordinary this season, contributing but not as much as they should to the covers. The Thalaivas defence is sprinkled with superstars. Is this a case of 'too many cooks'? The results give you the story. If you find raider Rahul Chaudhari taking over your right cover, what must that say about the defence?

6-14
The Thalaivas need Rahul Chaudhari to step up and take the game to Gujarat, who was the finalist last year. He is trying, it seems like the pressure of expectation has hurt him the most. But, he is happy to get a point there. Swoops up Ruturaj Koravi from the right cover.

13-5
Rahul comes in, and takes Parvesh Bhainswal with him

It's a shame to see the talent this side has when you see the scoreboard whenever these boys come out to play. With that, Rahul Chaudhari comes out.

12-4
The first all-out has been inflicted and no surprises, the Thalaivas find themselves all-out and now all-in.

Under 12 minutes to go for the first half whistle and Tamil Thalaivas has let the game drown it completely.

Slow game so far from both sides. We are facing severe connectivity issues from our end but are getting you the game and its updates as soon and as often as we can. Do bear with us.

Rahul Chaudhari is a PKL veteran but the poor form he has been lately begs the questions, how does he still have a place in the team? Where is Ajay Thakur? Now that qualifying isn't a concern, why not experiment a little more with team combinations? Many many questions lying pinned to the Thalaivas' drawing board.

Manpreet has not worn a smile on his face for many many games now. The pressure must be immense with the team finding itself in the position it is in today.

0-1 The Thalaivas get the scoreboard going with a brilliant tackle. The defence bands together to get the Rohit Gulia out of the mat. No chance to get a cross the line, which seems miles away at this point. Ponparthiban Subramanian the defender to laud.
 

Tamil Thalaivas is at the bottom of the table and out of contention in this tournament but Gujarat still has a small sliver of a chance to sneak through. Can it manage? Tamil Thalaivas seem to be easy pickings with the form they have going in this edition of the tournament but the boys in blue will play for pride tonight. Let's begin. Thalaivas have won the toss and Gujarat will begin.

 

Head-to-head: Gujarat Fortunegiants 1-1 Tamil Thalaivas

Gujarat Fortunegiants

Played: 18 | Won: 5 | Tied: 2| Lost: 11

Qualification Scenario:

Their defeat against U Mumba on Sunday coupled U.P. Yoddha’s victory over Tamil Thalaivas the previous night meant that it is now exceptionally difficult for Gujarat Fortunegiants to finish in the top 6 at the end of the league stage. Gujarat Fortunegiants have no room for error any more, however, victories in all their remaining matches could still prove to be inadequate in their quest for a playoffs spot.

 

Tamil Thalaivas

Played: 18 | Won: 3 | Tied: 3 | Lost: 12

Qualification scenario:

Their defeat against U.P. Yoddha meant that Tamil Thalaivas became the first team to be knocked out of the race for a top 6 spot this season.
 

Match no.112: Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Tamil Thalaivas


Biggest take-aways from the game:

Defence needs to buck up. The raiders, even if the three options are all firing well, cannot shoulder sole responsibility of picking up points

Kandola has struggled with the covers today. It is perhaps just an off-day for the firepower raider but lots of work to do before they head out again tomorrow.

We do not want to see a return of the home jinx so pressure on Haryana to secure that win. UP Yoddha and Haryana need a win to qualify for the playoffs.


FT: UP Yoddha beats Haryana Steelers 37-30

30-37 Oh but Vinay has brought that lead down to seven taking Nitesh with him. Haryana needs a lot more of where this came from, but it's too little too late from the home side as the final whistle goes off. Vikas Kandola has an empty expression on his face tonight as the whistle goes off. Very ordinary day in the office for the man. 
 

MILESTONE ALERT:

Nitesh Kumar Has Completed 50 Total Points This Season

 

29-37 Oh Kandola comes in but Nitesh will have none of it. Removed from the mat, and that lead for the UP Yoddha goes up to eight points now. With under two minutes to go, Haryana needs to figure out a way to get a point out of this game.

27-33 
Selvamani has come in, taken his bonus point and gone back. Smooth. Quiet. Oh but what is the point, Surender Gill comes in and takes Selvamani with him, neutralising the earlier point. 

Vikas has been off court for over 14 minutes today. The defence has some questions to ask itself once off the mat after this game.

Vikas Kandola is still on the bench and UP Yoddha can take pride in keeping him there. Brilliant from UP to keep the star raider quiet.

SUBSTITUTION for the Steelers: Selvamani comes in to replace Ravi Kumar

A five-point lead remains. The Steelers are just not able to break through.

26-31
High 5 for Nitesh Kumar as he shows Prashanth Kumar Rai the way back to the bench.
 

Couple of milestones have been crossed in this game. Here's a round-up

RAVI KUMAR (Haryana)

Ravi Kumar Has Completed 5 Super Tackles This Season

SHRIKANT JADHAV (UP Yoddha)

Shrikant Jadhav Has Completed 350 Raid Points Overall

SURENDER GILL (UP Yoddha)

Surender Gill Has Completed 50 Raid Points This Season and Overall


24-29
DO-OR-DIE raid for UP, super tackle opportunity for Haryana and what nerves of steel from the home side! Surender almost looked like he'd carry the entire defence with him across the midline. OH LOVELY WORK! Ravi Kumar initiates, Dharmaraj handles the midriff while Vikas Kale handles the upper body.

Under eight minutes remain for the final whistle. UP Yoddha is now killing the clock.

How the tables have turned. Haryana now has three men on the mat.

22-29
Vikas Kandola has stepped into the lobby again. Points gifted here to UP Yoddha. Rakesh Kumar's hand has found his head again and the lead is back to seven again in favour of UP Yoddha.

UP Yoddha is still five points ahead here.

22-26 S
o let me tell you what just happened in the last eighty seconds. I lost connectivity for a bit but Haryana had a little surprise for me at the other end. An unsuccessful raid from Shrikanth Jadhav meant an all-out and golden points for the Haryana outfit. A couple of succesful raids has bridged that gap to 22-26 now. But the UP Yoddha defence is trading blows here. A step from Haryana, one to match from UP Yoddha. What a contest.

Under 15 minutes to go. Seven points to first cover and then go for Haryana. Worried faces in the crowd. Determined ones on the mat.

The seven point lead remains comfortably in UP Yoddha's lap. But Haryana will not give up. Kandola looks like he's ready to explode and God knows we all want to see that.
17-24
Vikas Kandola goes into the left corner and Sumit has been tempted and pulled out. Vikas is happy. With that, he gets a time out for the Steelers. Can you believe, this half has not had an empty raid yet! Why did I complain about the pace of the game? My heart and my fingers are struggling to keep up.

UP Yoddha still with three men on the mat. They have been evading that all-out wit such determination.

SUBSTITUTION for UP Yoddha: Amit comes in, Monu Goyat has been pulled out

15-21 Oh poor poor defence.
What was the need for that attempt from Surender Gill and Ashu Singh! Vinay gets two points.

13-21 Wait. Shrikanth Jadhav looks like he's out but wait.
His foot made it through. Right foot so smartly pushed through the mid line. So much drama. Hefty lead to UP Yoddha and he takes Dharmaraj Cheralathan and Ravi Kumar with him.

13-19 Oh a review.
Vikas Kandola steps out of the mat into the lobby. Now he's out first and thanks to a slightly iffy rule, he is likely to take Rishank Devadiga and Nitesh Kumar , for no fault of their own might go with him. Rakesh Kumar looks so sad, I refuse to believe that this hasn't made him happy.

11-18
Rishank Devadiga is happy to see a gap in the Haryana line and gets the bonus and goes back.

11-17
Oh and it is not Vikas Kandola but Vinay who comes out but boy, oh boy. This is agony. Vinay has been tackled. Super tackle. Nitesh Kumar from the right corner goes in with an ankle hold and then Sumit comes to change his direction completely to get them two precious tackle points.

And we're back with action from the second half. Can Haryana get over the initial slump in pace and get ahead of the Yoddha? Find out along with us right here!



Seven failed tackles from Haryana. Defence posing some serious questions for Rakesh and the boys in blue

Half-time whistle goes off and UP Yoddha is very much on top. But they have left Haryana claw back which they shouldn't be happy about. As it stands, the scoreline reads 11-15 in favour of UP Yoddha.

Now, this brings in Rishank Devadiga. And he walks in with purpose. Can this be the aggression UP needs?

11-15
UP Yoddha down to four men. Vinay has got his hands on Surender Gill and Gill holds his head in disappointment. Rookie error, Surender. Nitesh turns around confused and a little irritated.

10-15
Surender Gill will have none of it. He quietly comes in and a running hand touch helps him remove Sunil.

A little over two minutes to go for half time. Lead down from six to four. Haryana is clawing back into the game and the crowd is here to root for their boys. UP Yoddha down to three men.

10-14 Kandola gets on it immediately
. An ankle hold does not stop him. Pulls through right in the middle and gets that arms across the line to safety, taking Ashu Singh with him. Do-or-die handled the Kandola way.

9-14
Oh what a tackle. Ravi Kumar bends into Shrikanth Jadhav's midriff and mows him down to the ground. Lovely to watch. This brings back Kandola.

8-14 Maghsoudlou is out tempting that right chain, no unnecessary risks here from the man and he's happy to walk away with an empty raid. Kandola meanwhile looks restless on the bench.

8-13
Oh Monu has been grounded. Zero footwork from the man. No no no, Monu.

7-13 Prashanth Kumar Rai has executed his responsibility of being the second raider so well tonight. He is undoing all the damage a silent defense and Vikas' absence is doing. Lovely from Rai. Point to the Steelers.
 

6-13 Shrikanth Jadhav has targeted Kandola and succeeded. Kandola and Dharma were on the left chain and it hurts Haryana a lot more than one would expect.

I am trying to understand why Dharmaraj is playing it quiet. Pressure is on Vikas now to compensate.

5-12 What is the Haryana defense doing?
Everyone went for Shrikanth Jadhav but not enough effort. Jadhav takes the right cover with him. Dharmaraj sees trouble and takes a few steps back to safety.

Worried faces in the crowd today. The home side trails by 6 points with under 10 minutes to go for the half time whistle.

Interesting to see here that Haryana has not scores a tackle point yet.

5-11 OH my my.
Vinay went in from the left corner, dashes to the right when he sees the defense coming in but he's dashed out before he can get his hands through to the midline. One point but a brilliant point for UP.

Koi baat nahin, says Rakesh Kumar in the distance. Where can I sign up to get him as my life coach?

5-9 Quiet contest so far to be fair. Calculative play going on here and as we speak, Vikas Kandola has been super tackled. He went in too deep, going in for two defenders, while Sumit came in from behind to castle the young turk. No escape there.

5-7 OH WHAT JUST HAPPENED THERE? UP Yoddha was asking for a substitution but in comes Vikas Kandola, as quick as a cat and he walks away with a point for the Steelers.

3-6
Monu Goyat is going after Haryana's right corner but Dharma has his eyes on him. Empty raid this will be.

3-4 BACK TO BACK SUPER RAID! One super raid countered by another. Vinay comes in. Defenders snapping at his heels and he takes them all with him as he races back to safety. Haryana happy to have six men on the mat again. More importantly, Kandola is back.

0-4 Super Raid from Surender Gill. Right in the middle of the mat and he takes Vikas Kale, Sunil and Vikas Kandola with him.

0-1 First points on the board for UP Yoddha. Prashanth Kumar Rai tries to get a point but the defenders will have none of it. Cast out of the mat right near the midline on the right by a determined defense. Nitesh Kumar does the job.

0-0
Shrikanth Jadhav walks away. An empty raid again for UP Yoddha. The next will be a do-or-die raid.

0-0
Vikas Kandola attacks the right corner from the word go but walks away with an empty raid.

0-0
Monu Goyat comes out to raid first. Empty raid.

Haryana wins the toss. UP Yoddha will make the first raid.

Major D.P. Singh will lead the national anthem tonight. Known as India's first blade runner, he is a Kargil war veteran.



UP Yoddha
will be the last team to have a home leg but will want to head home on a high. Before that, it's time for six days of crackling kabaddi action in Panchkula. Are you ready? We sure are. LIVE action coming up. 



No Rishank Devadiga for UP Yoddha tonight. But Dharmaraj Cheralathan is back in action for the Steelers.

I am excited to see kabaddi action move to Haryana, a state that absolutely dominates the sport in terms of the talents this state churns. Can UP Yoddha rob the home side of some pride tonight? Playoff berths to spar over tonight!

Squads:

Haryana Steelers: Vikas Kandola, Vikas Kale, Ravi Kumar, Prashanth Kumar Rai, Vinay, Sunil, Dharmaraj Cheralathan

UP Yoddha: Nitesh Kumar, Shrikant Jadhav, Ashu Singh, Amit, Surender Gill, Monu Goyat, Sumit

 

Rakesh Kumar has maintained that he began this tournament thinking about the playoffs. Now, he has his sight set on bigger things. The home leg is a perfect platform to get that dream going. UP Yoddha on the other hand, with six wins in the last seven matches, will want to play party poopers tonight. Exciting contest on the cards. Stay with us for live action in just a few minutes.

The Steelers won their first match against UP Yoddha in August quite comfortably and will look to make it a season double as they head into the game tonight. One of the biggest questions ahead of the game is if we will see Dharmaraj get back on the mat. Haryana has had a good run but has blown hot and cold in bits. Vikash Kandola's heroics keep this team alive and kicking in the tournament and he will want that magic to come through in front of a passionate home crowd over the next week.

With one win needed to make it through to the playoffs, Haryana will go in with all to win.

Qualification scenario:

Haryana did suffer a loss to Mani's warriors but quickly got back to winning ways against the Patna Pirates. Third in the table now, it'll look to maintain that if not do one better as the league nears its business end.

Played: 17 | Won: 11 | Lost: 5 | Drawn:1 | Score difference: 30 | Points: 59

After a slow start, the Yoddha have proven themselves as one of the teams to beat in this tournament. With the playoffs nearing and their home leg up next, players will look to register as many wins to their name going ahead in this tournament.

Qualification scenario:

Bengaluru's recent win pulled them up from sixth, pushing UP Yoddha. While a place in the top six is good news, the latter will want to strengthen its hold on the top tier of the points table.

Played: 17| won: 9 | Lost: 6 | Drawn: 2 | Score difference: -26 |  Points: 53
 

MATCH 111: Haryana Steelers vs UP Yoddha

We'll bring you news from the teams and the contest and everything we're seeing so far in just a minute. Before that, let's take a look at one very conspicuous absentee, if I may say so - Steelers skipper Dharmaraj Cheralathan.We caught up with the man a while ago on our PKL special series, Kings Of Kabaddi. We have over half an hour to go for LIVE action, just enough for you to catch up.

 

***

We have exciting fixtures to dive into tonight. Home side, Haryana Steelers takes on UP Yoddha in the first match of the night. Later, Tamil Thalaiavas fight for pride as it takes on Gujarat Fortunegiants.

It's match number 111 today! Something about this number always gives me anxiety. Have you heard of a superstition that likens the number to how the stumps look, therefore deeming it unlucky? Thankfully, we have a mat instead of a pitch and seven men a side who are waiting to thump the other to take the honours of the night.

***

You can watch the live streaming of all the Pro Kabaddi matches on Hotstar.