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 Tamil Thalaivas.

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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Puneri Paltan storms into the top-six as it secures a comprehensive 10-point win over Tamil Thalaivas. Mohit Goyat excelled in raiding and defending as well to steer his side to a third victory in four games. The loss, Tamil Thalaivas' fifth, ends its hopes of qualifying for the playoffs this season.

 

FULL-TIME! Puneri Paltan beats Tamil Thalaivas 43-31.

43-31 Aslam searches for a way back to the mid-line but gets crowded out by the Thalaivas defence.

40-30 Himanshu is chasing a Super 10 but that will have to wait as he's shoved off the mat by Vishal and Nitin. Vishal, though, has been deemed out of bounds too.

39-28 Sagar picks up his first tackle point of the game in the 37th minute! Quite a poor outing for him.

38-27 Aslam makes it a 11-point game as he grab a bonus and runs past Mohit's meek challenge.

36-27 SUPER RAID! Bhavani gets two defenders and bonus point to reduce his side's deficit to nine points!

Tamil Thalaivas reviews the decision and claims two defenders stepped out of bounds, but the replays show that was not the case. Review lost!

36-24 Puneri Paltan's lead swells to 12 points as Abinesh traps Himanshu with a strong ankle hold.

35-24 That's brilliant work from Nitin as he brushes aside Ajinkya to claim his fourth point of the game.

Puneri Paltan has 10 tackle points while Tamil Thalaivas has only four.

34-23 Vishal makes a rare error as Bhavani escapes with a point.

34-22 It takes six defenders to come together to tackle Aslam!

34-21 Aslam turns defender! The youngster makes a traps Ajinkya in an iron clad ankle hold and extends his side's lead to 13!

Puneri Paltan has scored nine points in the last five minutes while Tamil Thalaivas has managed just TWO.

32-20 ALL OUT! Ajinkya Pawar comes off the bench but makes a mess of his raid as he steps into the lobbies. A 12-point deficit for the Thalaivas.

29-19 Mohit is at it again as he eliminates Surjeet and the Thalaivas are down to one man!

27-19 It looks like the Thalaivas defence just does not know how to tackle Mohit! The Puneri Paltan raider tags his namesake to earn his seventh point of the game.

Tamil Thalaivas has shot itself in the foot here. The side had two glorious chances to inflict an All Out but squandered both and is back to chasing the game now.

26-18 The tides have turned and how quickly! Puneri Paltan has four men and Tamil Thalaivas is down to three!

25-18 SUPER TACKLE! Mohit, you superstar! He makes a superb ankle hold on Manjeet to earn his side two more points!

23-18 Mohit does ever-so-well as he executes a textbook running hand touch on Bhavani. What better, Mohit got a bonus too!

21-17 Tamil Thalaivas squanders the chance to get the All Out as Abinesh gets the better of Sagar and also grabs a bonus.

19-17 SUPER TACKLE! The Super Tackle is awarded to Puneri Paltan, but Tamil Thalaivas also gets two points. Abinesh will the man to come on for Puneri Paltan.

The umpires have awarded a Super Tackle to Puneri Paltan. Aslam steps into the lobby and Himanshu is then taken out by Vishal, but Tamil Thalaivas feels Vishal also entered the lobby. A review is underway.

17-15 Aslam replaces Vishal and delivers in style! He lands a fine running hand touch on Mohit.

16-15 Jadhav Shahaji comes on for Aslam, but makes an error right away!

16-14 Aslam bags a quick bonus, but the side is down to two men!

HALF-TIME: Puneri Paltan leads by a point at the interval.

15-14 Mohit and Bhavani combine to flatten Nitin on the mat in the last raid of the half.

14-13 Good work from Bhavani as he tags Sombir with a fine running hand touch.

14-12 Another do-or-die raid for Puneri Paltan and it's Mohit who goes in once again. However, he fails to bag a point as Sahil traps him with an excellent ankle hold.

14-11 Bhavani Rajput rescues Tamil Thalaivas as he evades Abinesh's tackle. It's touch point plus a bonus!

14-9 Mohit lives up to his tag of the best raider in a do-or-die situation as he gets a running hand touch on Sagar, the best defender this season!

13-9 Puneri Paltan's defence comes alive as Himanshu is ushered off the mat.

12-9 Aslam comes off the bench and strikes right away as he runs through Mohit's tackle!

11-9 SUPER TACKLE! Sombir does swimmingly well to grab hold of Manjeet in a double thigh hold, which eventually became a double ankle hold.

8-9 Rahul, however, makes a very silly tackle and gets sent to the bench. Himanshu also managed to tag Mohit in the same raid!

8-7 Rahul picks up a point off his second raid as he gets a running hand touch on Mohit.

Look who's on for Puneri Paltan - Rahul Chaudhari!

7-7 Wow, where did that come from? Surjeet, the Tamil Thalaivas skipper, races in for a raid and gets rid of Abinesh AND Nitin!

7-5 Nitin claims two points as he runs out of Sahil's tackle and bags a bonus too!

5-5 SUPER TACKLE! The trio of Vishal, Nitin and Abinesh does supremely well to get the better of Manjeet.

3-5 Mohit and Sagar combine to take out Aslam and the Thalaivas now have a two-point lead.

3-4 Mohit gives away an easy points as he steps into the lobby unopposed.

3-3 That's terrific work from Himanshu! He rides the tackle from Sanket but somehow manages to get his hand over the mid-line.

3-2 Aslam settles for a bonus point on the do-or-die raid.

2-2 First do-or-die raid of the game and Himanshu is entrusted with the task. He does well to land a kick on Sombir in the right corner.

2-1 Aslam Inamdar gets going right away as he lands a running hand touch on Mohit.

1-1 Manjeet gets tackled by Vishal in the first raid of the game but the former manages a bonus point.

Puneri Paltan won the toss and chose the right side of the court, Tamil Thalaivas will raid first

9:50pm: TEAM NEWS!

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

Tamil Thalaivas: Surjeet Singh, Sagar Rathee, Sahil Gulia, Mohit Jhakar, Sahil Malik, Himanshu, Manjeet

9:45pm: Anupam Goswami, CEO of Mashal Sports and the PKL’s League commissioner, feels the competition's functioning has been “path-breaking” for all contact and indoor sports. The PKL began on December 22 and has had its share of COVID cases, but the league has motored on after rescheduling a few games. More on that here - Anupam Goswami: What PKL did for Covid safety was path-breaking

9:40pm: Four straight losses has seen the Tamil Thalaivas sink to the 10th spot. The defence, which had been spectacular all season long, has scored only 24 tackle points in its last three games. The Thalaivas still have a minuscule chance of qualifying for the playoffs, but they will need to win all their remaining matches to stand a chance. The Thalaivas are the only team to have never played in the vivo PKL playoffs, and defeat tonight will extend that wait by another season.

 

9:30pm: Puneri Paltan’s 31-31 tie with Gujarat Giants yesterday marked it first draw of the season. Three wins in its remaining three matches will not only Puneri Paltan book a playoff berth but also finish second on the points table. The side has made an incredible comeback to give itself a chance to finish in the upper half of the table. The young raiders, Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat, will be crucial to the team's success.

9:20pm: We have a super intense game between three-time champs Patna Pirates and Bengaluru Bulls underway right now! Join me on the blog here - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Patna Pirates beats Bengaluru Bulls for seventh successive win

 

9:10pm: In case if you're new to this sport, here's a simple explainer that covers all the rules of the game and the various terms such as 'All Out', 'Do-or-die' and 'Super Tackle'-

9pm: Hello folks and welcome to our third game of the evening! 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