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 Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors.
Bengal Warriors made one of the best comebacks of the season to outclass Puneri Paltan and claim a 43-36 win in its final game of the Pro Kabbadi League (PKL 8) season. The Warriors once again rode on a Super 10 from captain Maninder Singh as the team scored a whopping 33 points in the second half.
Puneri Paltan looked in complete control of the game and had a 10-point lead at the interval but began to crumble in the second half and succumbed to a loss that could severely dent its playoff chances. Mohit Goyat starred with 15 points but Puneri Paltan will walk away from the game with a mere point.
We now head into the second game of the evening as Telugu Titans takes on Dabang Delhi. Join my colleague Nihit Sachdeva on the blog here: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Dabang Delhi beats Telugu Titans 40-32, qualifies for semis
FULL-TIME! Bengal Warriors beats Puneri Paltan 43-36
36-43 Good work from Mohit as he picks up a bonus point and escapes Ran's clutches.
34-42 ALL OUT! Bengal Warriors clinches a late All Out and now has an eight-point lead with 30 seconds to go.
33-39 SUPER RAID! Sukesh bags three masisve points and that's got to be the game.
33-36 Taken out! Aslam looks for the bonus but can't get it and is tackled in quick time.
"Play for a tie at the bare minimum," says Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar.
33-35 Mohit gets a quick point as he picks up Ran in under 15 seconds. Puneri Paltan needs a lot more of those in the 92 seconds left on the clock!
32-35SUPER RAID FROM ROHIT, THE SUBSTITUTE! Under immense pressure in a do-or-die raid, he beats as many as three Puneri Paltan defenders - Abinesh, Sanket, Sombir - to steer his side to a stunning lead.
32-32 Mohit picks up a point with a diving running hand touch on Nabibakhsh and we're back on level terms! SUPER 10 FOR MOHIT!
31-32 That is really unfortunate for Maninder as he falls a millimeter short of the mid-line. It could have been a four-point Super Raid, but instead he's been relegated to the bench.
"Don't make any mistakes when Maninder comes in. Tackle him with conviction," says Puneri Paltan coach Anup Kumar.
Bengal Warriors has made a sensational comeback and taken the lead! Puneri Paltan appears to be losing the plot and will need to pull it together if it wants to remain in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. Under five minutes to go.
30-31 ALL OUT! BENGAL WARRIORS TAKE THE LEAD FOR THE FIRST TIME TODAY! Maninder forces Akash Shinde into making an self-out and gets a touch on Sombir to earn his side four huge points. SUPER 10 for MANINDER!
29-27 Puneri Paltan in all sorts of trouble now! Nabibakhsh evades Vishal's tackle and Puneri Paltan is down to two men!
29-26 That's sums up Rahul's campaign - he lacks a spring in his stride and is trapped in a trademark Abozar ankle hold.
Look who's on the mat for Puneri Paltan - Rahul Chaudhari! The Showman has had very limited gametime this season and has had to be content with a few cameo appearance.
29-25 SUPER TACKLE x2 FOR PUNERI PALTAN! Rohit goes after Sombir and manages to leap past him, but Sanket races in with the assist.
27-25 Amit has picked up Aslam and Bengal Warriors is now two points away!
The Bengal Warriors has truly come out all guns blazing in the second half! The defending champion has scored 14 minutes in the last 10 minutes.
27-24 SUPER TACKLE FOR PUNERI PALTAN! The defence comes good when it mattered the most as Sanket and Aslam push Maninder away from the lobbies.
25-24 Nitin is taken out by Abozar and it's now a one-point game!
25-23 SUPER RAID! Maninder has made a fiery comeback as he brings up a third successive multi-point raid! He tags Mohit and Vishal and claims a bonus point.
25-20 Maninder rescues his team from the jaws of an All Out yet again as he gets the better of Shahaji and also picks up a bonus!
25-18 Aslam does very well to sneak past Nabibakhsh and the Warriors are on the verge of another All Out.
24-17 REVIEW SUCCESSFUL! A brilliant review for Puneri Paltan as Aslam earns the raid point and Ran has been relegated to the bench.
This could be a game-changing decision! Ran Singh does really well to tackle Aslam, but does pull his jersey along the way. The umpire awards the Super Tackle to the Warriors, but Puneri Paltan has asked for a review.
23-17 SUPER TACKLE! Nabibakhsh makes an instant impact as he restrains Mohit with a strong ankle hold. The Warriors have reduced the deficit to six points!
23-15 A multi-raid point for Maninder as he gets out of Sombir's tackle and also bags a bonus point. He delays the All Out and revives Nabibakhsh.
HALF-TIME! Puneri Paltan leads 20-10 at the interval. Anup Kumar's side has made a stellar start in this must-win game, while Bengal Warriors is yet to find its footing in the match.
20-9 A schoolboy error from Tapas Pal as he steps out of bounds. An easy point for Mohit!
19-8 "I've already crossed the line," a smiling Mohit tells Ran Singh, who tries his best to pull the raider away from the mid-line.
18-8 Mohit bags yet another tackle point as he executes a stunning ankle hold on Nabibakhsh.
17-7 The Puneri Paltan defence, led by Vishal, strikes once again as Maninder is taken out. That's a sixth tackle point for the defence!
15-7 Maninder gets the better of his rival as he slips put of Aslam's ankle hold.
15-6 Mohit makes that look so easy! He gets a smooth running hand touch on Abozar, who has to once again jog to the bench.
14-6 Vishal, Mohit and Abinesh come together as a cohesive unit to shove Nabibakhsh away. Superb work from the Puneri Paltan defence!
13-5 Nitin makes his first raid of the game and gets off the mark right away as he lands a touch on Abozar in the right corner.
12-5 Nabibakhsh gets going as he skips past Sombir's attempted tackle. The Iranian was in sensational form in the last game.
12-4 First tackle point of the evening for the Warriors as Abozar stars with a superb thigh hold on Aslam.
12-2 Wow, how special was that from Aslam? He leaps over the mighty Ran Singh and bags another point. Incredible athleticism from the youngster.
11-2 Mohit now strikes at the other end of the mat and he initiates a fine ankle hold on Maninder. Nitin Tomar and Sanket swoop in to complete the tackle.
10-2 First raid point of the game for Maninder and the Warriors as he gets past Abinesh's dash.
10-1 Aslam picks up a bonus and further extends Puneri Paltan's lead. The Warriors have simply failed to show up in the opening minutes!
9-1 ALL OUT! MOHIT GOYAT, YOU SUPERSTAR! He gets a running hand touch on Ran Singh, then evades Amit Nirwal's tackle and wraps it up with a tag on Abozar Mighani. A mind-blowing raid from the youngster and Puneri Paltan has soared to a massive lead inside the opening five minutes!
4-1 Sombir strikes! He picks up his first point with an ankle hold on Sukesh Hegde and the Warriors are down to three men!
3-1 That's a monstrous tackle from Sanket! He absolutely shoves Nabibakhsh off the mat.
2-0 Aslam Inamdar scores off his first raid to set the ball rolling.
1-0 Strong start for Puneri Paltan as Vishal Bharadwaj tackles Maninder Singh right away!
Puneri Paltan won the toss and chose the side of the court, Bengal Warriors will raid first
7:30pm: TEAM NEWS!
Puneri Paltan: Nitin Tomar, Aslam Inamdar, Vishal Bharadwaj, Mohit Goyat, Abinesh Nadarajan, Sombir, Sanket Sawant
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh, Amit Nirwal, Sukesh Hegde, Tapas Pal, Abozar Mighani, Ran Singh
7:20pm: Patna Pirates, UP Yoddha and Dabang Delhi are the three teams that have sealed their berth in the playoffs thus far. Here's what the PKL points table looks like: PKL 8 Points Table: Gujarat Giants, Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan through to playoffs
7:10pm: Bengal Warriors snapped its miserable six-game winless streak with a massive 31-point win over the Tamil Thalaivas. Maninder Singh and Mohammad Nabibakhsh registered Super 10s, while Abozar Mighani and Ran Singh combined for 10 tackle points. The victory would be a bittersweet one for coach BC Ramesh, as this performance was indicative of his team’s real ability, which it couldn’t showcase the entire season. The outgoing champion will want to cap the season off with another big win today.
7pm: Puneri Paltan’s 12-point victory over the Tamil Thalaivas in its previous outing has put it in prime position to qualify for the playoffs. The side is seventh, three points behind fifth-placed Haryana Steelers. A win tonight, which would be its eighth in 10 matches, will see the team finish fifth on the points table. A must-win game ahead for Anup Kumar's boys!
6:50pm: In a team that's coached by the iconic Anup Kumar and features established stars such as Nitin Tomar, Rahul Chaudhari and Vishal Bharadwaj, one youngster has come come along and stolen the limelight - Aslam Inamdar. The young raider hailing from Taklibhan in Maharashtra has made coaches and fans turn around and take notice of his aptitude for the game and stunning skill set. From braving a broken leg to dealing with a tough financial situation at home, Aslam has overcome adversities aplenty to pursue his dream of becoming a professional kabaddi player.
Aslam is the first guest in Sportstar's special series - the Future Kings of Kabaddi.
6:40pm: The 2022 edition of the Sportstar Aces Awards is back and we are celebrating the marvellous year for Indian Sports that 2021 was. From Neeraj Chopra and the other Olympic and Paralympic medallists to the Indian cricket team, we have a bunch of nominees who need your vote to win! Support your favourite athlete/team here .
6:30pm: Hello folks and welcome to our PKL coverage for the day! We have a top clash today as Ouneri Paltan takes on Bengal Warriors. Before we get to that, here's a recap of what went down in the PKL over the last fortnight - PKL notebook: Patna Pirates packs a punch