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 Patna Pirates.

That brings us to the end of our Pro Kabaddi League coverage for the day. We will be back tomorrow. See you then!

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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Three-time champion Patna Pirates become the first team to qualify for PKL 8's play-offs as it cruises to a marauding 43-26 win over Puneri Paltan. Patna Pirates outplayed its opponent in every department and Guman Singh was the star player as he picked up 13 raid points. Patna Pirates benefited from the lobby rule to clam four points in the first half and also inflicted three All Outs in the resounding win.

The victory sees Patna Pirates remain at the top of the table 70 points from 18 games and a massive score difference of 110 points, while remains 11th with 42 points from 16 matches.

PKL 8 Points Table: Gujarat Giants, Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan through to playoffs  

 

FULL-TIME! Patna Pirates thrashes Puneri Paltan 43-26.

26-42 ALL OUT! Sachin is tackled by Vishal and Shubham but he overpowers both of them to sneak his hand past the mid-line.

26-38 That will all but be the game. Sombir makes a late tackle on Guman, who has no trouble getting past the mid-line.

26-37 Nitin ventures deep into the Patna Pirates half and runs into a fine block from Shadloui. That's the Iranian's third point of the game!

Puneri Paltan will at least target to lose the game by less than seven points as that will give it one point.

26-36 Patna Pirates' lead now grows to 10 points as Mohit is flattened on the mat. Less than three minutes to go!

Aslam has not managed a single point in the second half so far!

26-34 Mohit escapes Shadloui's ankle hold and will need a lot more of those!

25-33 Shubham comes to the fore as he traps Nitin, his former captain, with a impenetrable ankle hold.

Meanwhile, Guman Singh has brought up yet another Super 10!

24-31 ALL OUT! Patna Pirates clinches another All Out and now has a seven-point cushion with five minutes to go.

24-28 That is a herculean tackle from Shadloui! Nitin gets his hand over the mid-line but is suspended in mid-air and the Iranian wrestles him away with a fine move.

22-27 Sachin sends Sombir back to the bench and Puneri Paltan is on the verge of an All Out now.

21-26 Guman's anticipation is way too good as he evades Abinesh's tackle. Puneri Paltan down to two men!

21-25 Nitin has not raided much today but does well to bag a bonus point here.

20-25 That's big from Guman! He gets rid of both Vishal and Sanket with a superb dash. Patna now has a five-point lead with less than 10 minutes to go!

20-22 Sombir fine game continues as he takes out Prashanth with a superb tackle.

Both teams are playing on the do-or-die raid strategy now...

19-22 Puneri Paltan has the do-or-die raid and Aslam is dashed off court by Shubham.

19-21 Another do-or-die raid and another fine tackle from Puneri Paltan! Sanket and Sombir combine to flatten Sachin.

18-21 Shadloui gets his first point of the game, after 25 minutes of play.

18-20 Guman has been chosen for the do-or-die raid and he's sent back to the bench! Vishal and Nitin get the job done with a strong tackle.

17-20 Patna Pirates picks up two quick points to extend its lead.

For those of you who are wondering why Patna Pirates won four points when Sachin walked into the lobby, here's what the lobby rule (a very contentious one) means -

For the uninitiated, the lobbies are the strips on either side of the mat that are activated when the raider gets a touch on a defender. The rule states that a raider cannot enter the lobby before scoring a touch point and if he does so then he will be eliminated. However, the rule also states that a defender will be deemed out of bounds if he enters the lobby without the raider initiating a touch. In such a scenario, the raider will be eliminated and so will the defenders who follow him.

Raiders have actively begun using this loophole that has left fans and pundits divided over the ethics of employing this tactic. The jury is still out on whether this rule, the subject of multiple match-deciding raids, should be amended going ahead.

HALF-TIME! Patna Pirates has a one-point lead at the end of the first half.

There's a very clear personal battle here between Shadloui and Aslam, with the former still seething from the fact that Aslam tagged him in the first raid of the game.

17-18 SUPER RAID FROM ASLAM! He outdoes Guman's raid as he storms past FOUR defenders! The Patna Pirates defence (read: Shadloui) even goes to the extent of pulling Aslam's jersey, but the Puneri Paltan raider was not to be stopped! Exceptional stuff  from Aslam as he wipes out half of the Pirates defence and some horrendous work from Shadloui. He had no business pulling Aslam's jersey like that and rightfully gets a green card for that.

13-18 SUPER RAID FROM GUMAN SINGH! He overpowers THREE Puneri Paltan defenders and picks up three massive points.

13-15 There's no stopping Mohit! He skips past one challenge and evades another to make it a two-point game.

11-14 That's some show from Shadloui! He charges into a pursuit raid and tags Sanket. Super work from the Iranian left corner.

11-13 ALL OUT! Patna Pirates inflicts the first All Out of the game and takes the lead with three and a half minutes to go in the half.

11-10 Mohit gets the bonus to put his side ahead but it won't revive a player. Mohit felt he had gotten a touch on Shadloui, but a review shows that he did not manage it.

10-10 Puneri Paltan's misery extends as Vishal steps off bounds. He manages to tackle Sachin but it will not count.

10-9 Sunil pounces on Aslam and Sajin comes in with the assist.

10-8 The controversial lobby rule strikes again! This is really unfortunate for Puneri Paltan. Sachin steps into the lobby without a touch and then four defenders combine to tackle him and they all enter the lobby. Puneri Paltan reviews the decision, but to no luck. Very unlucky for Aslam and co.

9-4 Another quick point for Mohit as he gets a running hand touch on the right corner.

8-4 Mohit, the do-or-die expert, tags Monu on the shoulder to escape with a key point.

7-4 Guman cannot get a point on the do-or-die raid as Vishal spears him off the mat.

6-4 Aslam with some terrific skill to slip out of Sumit's ankle hold. He also grabs a bonus along the way!

4-4 How good is that from Sachin? He makes a running hand touch on Sombir to level the scores.

3-2 Guman Singh opens his account with a really good running hand touch on Sanket.

3-1 Mohit Goyat needed to bag a point in the do-or-die raid but he's undone by Neeraj in the left corner.

No points for Patna Pirates in the first three and a half minutes!

3-0 Patna Pitates captain Prashanth Kumar Rai is dashed off in his first raid!

2-0 Aslam picks up a bonus point off his second raid. Good start from the youngster.

1-0 Wow, what a start! Aslam Inamdar gets a running hand touch on Mohammadreza Shadloui inside of five seconds!

Patna Pirates wins the toss, Puneri Paltan to raid first.

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8:40pm: TEAM NEWS!

Puneri Paltan: Aslam Inamdar, Abinesh Nadarajan, Mohit Goyat, Nitin Tomar, Sombir, Sanket Sawant, Vishal Bharadwa

Patna Pirates: Sachin, Neeraj Kumar, Sajin C, Prashanth Kumar Rai, Guman Singh, Sunil, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh Shadloui

8:30pm: Patna Pirates is currently at the top of the points table and has grown from strength to strength. The three-time champion has won its last four games by an average margin of 10.5 points. In its previous outing, it hammered U Mumba 47-36, with Sachin and Guman Singh leading the way with Super 10s. The defence had a quiet day by its lofty standards, but the fearsome unit, led by the herculean Mohammadreza Chiyaneh, will be itching to take on the fearless young raiding unit that Puneri Paltan boasts.

8:20pm: Puneri Paltan is in raging form as the side has four straight wins. Anup Kumar’s men are nine points behind sixth-placed Jaipur Pink Panthers but have played two fewer games. The key to the side's resurgence has been in the incredible form of youngsters Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat. The rookie raiding duo has taken the league by storm and have established their status as game-changers. They will need to come to the fore on Thursday when their team goes up against the best defence in the league.

8:10pm: We've got an enthralling contest underway right now as Bengal Warriors battles it out against Dabang Delhi. Join me on the blog here - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Bengal Warriors plays out 39-39 tie with Dabang Delhi; Super 10s for Maninder, Naveen

8pm: Hello folks and welcome to our second game of the evening! We've got an exciting game as Puneri Paltan takes on three-time champion Patna Pirates. Before we get to that, here's a recap of what went down in the PKL over the last fortnight - PKL notebook: Swift rescheduling saves the League