Pro Kabaddi: U.P Yoddha knocks out defending champion Patna Pirates

U.P Yoddha qualified for the playoffs of Pro Kabaddi League with a 41-25 thrashing of Bengal Warriors and eliminated three-time defending champion Patna Pirates.

Bengal Warriors raider Jang Kun Lee in action against U.P. Yoddha.   -  PKL Media

Three-time Pro Kabaddi League defending champion Patna Pirates was knocked out of the tournament on Thursday after U. P. Yoddha handed Bengal Warriors a 41-25 thrashing at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium, Kolkata.

In a must-win game for the final playoff spot, U.P. Yoddha came out all guns blazing and took a 14-8 lead in the first half. Bengal Warriors, having booked playoff spot and the match outcome having no effect on its position in the table, rested its key players -- Maninder Singh, Jang Kun Lee and Surjeet -- for the remainder of the match.

Read: As it happened

U. P. captain Rishank Devadiga was in fine form picking up nine raid points, while Nitesh Kumar picked a Super 5 in defence to cap off a dominant win. There was little resistance from Bengal Warriors and U.P. increased its lead to 22 points as Devadiga and Naveen Kumar ran riot.

Bengal Warriors substitute Bhupender Singh provided some comical moments at the end of the match, first by gifting away a technical point by falling over the midline before his teammates' raid. The raider then tried to ask for a referral even after was he tackled successfully by the U.P. defence and went on to lose his jersey in the final raid of the match.

U.P. Yoddha will now face U Mumba in the eliminator, while Bengal Warriors will face Dabang Delhi in the second eliminator.

Bengaluru Bulls finish on top of the Zone B league

Bengaluru Bulls secured the top slot in the Zone B downing Jaipur Pink Panthers 40-32 on the concluding day of the wildcard round of the zonal league.

Pawan Sherawat showed his prowess as the top raider for the Bulls to secure 16 raid points for his team. Needing a win to secure its top spot in the group league standings, Bulls started on a strong note and led its opponent all through the encounter. Pink Panthers put up a tough resistance in the opening session and at times appeared to outshine its opponent.

Bulls, which possessed a more balanced side, continued to nudge ahead with Sherawat and fellow raider Rohit Kumar picking up points at regular intervals. The Bulls ended the first session with a slender 19-16 lead but bettered its performance in defence to put the Pink Panthers on the back-foot in the second half.

The Panthers tried to counter the Bulls’ progress and star raider Deepak Hooda made a few successful raids but it seemed like an uphill battle.

The Bulls finished the league stage with 78 points from 22 matches to establish a clear lead over Bengal Warriors, which will finish second irrespective of the result of its last match against UP Yoddha. Bulls will now play Gujarat Fortunegiants in the Qualifier 1 at Kochi on Monday.

Schedule for the Playoffs

Eliminator 1: U Mumba vs U.P. Yoddha  - Sunday, December 30 - 8 PM

Eliminator 2: Dabang Delhi vs Bengal Warriors - Sunday December 30 - 9 PM

Qualifier 1: Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Bengaluru Bulls - Monday, December 31 - 8 PM

Eliminator 3: TBD vs TBD - Monday, December 31, 9 PM

Qualifer 2: TBD vs TBD - Thursday, January 3, 8 PM