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 Tamil Thalaivas and UP Yoddha.
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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Plenty of positives for UP Yoddha as it beats Tamil Thalaivas 41-39. The biggest takeaway will be Pardeep Narwal's performance as the ace raider bagged a Super 10 and got great support from Surender Gill, who scored 13 points. Sumit secured a High-5 in defence but the UP Yoddha defence was poor otherwise.
Tamil Thalaivas recovered well from an early All Out and the raiders in Manjeet and Himanshu did well, but captain Surjeet's absence cost the side dear. Abishek, who replaced Surjeet, had a game to forget as he made seven unsuccessful tackles.
The win sees UP Yoddha climb to the fifth spot, while Tamil Thalaivas is eighth.
We've got another game as Telugu Titans locks horns with Gujarat Giants. Join my colleague Nihit on the blog here - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Gujarat Giants defeats Telugu Titans 34-32, keeps play-off hopes alive
FULL-TIME! UP Yoddha beats Tamil Thalaivas 41-39.
39-41 Abishek gets the better of Surender in the last raid of the game, but it way to little too late.
37-40 That might just be the game. Himanshu is taken out by a chain on the right and the Thalaivas are in all sorts of trouble.
37-39 Twist in the tale! Sagar delivers when it matters the most as he tackles Pardeep!
36-39 Oooh, that's trouble for Tamil Thalaivas! Manjeet has been flattened on the mat and the side's star raider is off to the bench!
35-38 Abishek is back to the bench yet again as Surender evades him yet again. A very poor game for Abishek.
35-36 Surender picks up a rare bonus point. Four minutes to go!
35-35 We're back on level terms! Nitesh is caught napping and jogs off to the bench.
34-35 The Tamil Thalaivas defence finally earns a tackle point as Sagar Krishna darts from the left corner to push Taghi off the mat.
33-35 Himanshu shoes great composure to pick up a bonus point in the do-or-die raid.
32-35 Abishek makes amends as he traps Pardeep in a sharp double ankle hold.
31-34 Surender gets rid of two big men - Manjeet and Sagar - to propel his side.
31-32 SUPER 10 FOR MANJEET! Taghi is left grabbing air as Manjeet cruises away.
Tamil Thalaivas has 11 bonus points, while UP Yoddha has none!
30-32 Manjeet bags another to reduce his side's deficit to two points. Can the Thalaivas overturn this deficit with 10 minutes to go?
29-32 Abishek's nightmare continues as Surender outfoxes him yet again.
29-31 Pardeep has been taken out, and how! He ventures deep into the Tamil Thalaivas half and the defenders pounce on him in no time.
28-31 Manjeet, Tamil Thalaivas' captain, ensures his side remains in the game. He calmly steers clear of Sumit.
27-31 Abishek has not had the best of games and gets sent to the bench again as he cannot contain Surender.
UP Yoddha has a healthy four-point lead here, but will need to build on it. Tamil Thalaivas is a side well-known for its comebacks (and ties!).
26-30 ALL OUT! Ajinkya falls prey to Sumit and UP Yoddha has inflicted a second All Out!
25-27 SUPER 10 FOR PARDEEP! He reduces Tamil Thalaivas to one man!
24-26 Pardeep is back into action right away as he pushes Ashish aside to pick up his ninth point of the game.
23-25 Sagar makes an error and Mohammad Taghi, who has just come on, ducks under him to escape. That will revive Pardeep!
22-24 Surender, Surender, Surender. How good has he been this season? He picks up two more points to take his tally to six points.
For those of you who are wondering why did UP Yoddha win those three points when all Shrikant did was walk 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: Tamil Thalaivas makes a really good comeback to lead UP Yoddha 22-20 at half-time.
22-20 That's quite something from Manjeet. Guess who he gets the better of? Pardeep! That's only the second time he has been sent to the bench today.
21-20 SUPER RAID! Oh my, that's excellent from Himanshu. He escapes Nitesh's clutches, gets the bonus AND tags Ashu on his way back. What a game this is turning out to be!
18-20 Pardeep is at it again as he outmuscles Abishek!
18-19 That's simply stunning from Manjeet. He tags Gurdeep with a diving hand touch!
UP Yoddha has done well to not give Pardeep back to back raids. That seems to be bringing out the best in him.
16-19 Pardeep is finally showing some kind of form! He skips out of Sagar's ankle hold and grabs another defender on his way back!
16-17 That's a phenomenal dash from Surender! He charges at Surender and shoves him off the mat.
15-17 ALL OUT! Nitesh comes to the fore as he tackles Bhavani and inflicts the All Out. UP Yoddha has taken a two-point lead.
14-14 UP Yoddha loses its reviwew, but bags a point. Tamil Thalaivas back to one man again.
Pardeep gets the better of Aashish, but the camp feels Sagar stepped into the lobbies too. A review is underway.
14-13 Great work from Bhavani Rajput! He comes off the bench and not only escapes Gurdeep's ankle hold but also picks up a bonus point!
12-13 Pardeep manages to tag Himanshu on the do-or-die raid and Tamil Thalaivas is down to one man!
12-12 That's a superb ankle hold from Gurdeep! Ajinkya needed the point on the do-or-die raid, but Gurdeep pounces on him effectively.
10-11 SUPER TACKLE! That is some tackle from Himanshu as he wrestles Surender and grabs on to his ankle like there's no tomorrow!
8-11 Three points to UP Yoddha! Three controversial ones for sure as the side benefits from the contentious lobby rule.
Uh oh, Tamil Thalaivas might be in a spot of bother! Shrikant goes into the lobbies without initiating a touch and as many as three defenders followed him!
7-8 SUPER RAID FROM PARDEEP! He executes the dubki and cruises past three defenders to give his side the lead. That will serve as a massive morale-booster for the UP Yoddha raider.
7-5 This almost seems like a revenge act from Manjeet! He gets a touch on Surender, who had eliminated him earlier.
6-5 Surender gets rid of the league's best defender - Sagar Rathee! Surender has been solid so far.
6-4 Gurdeep makes a poorly-timed dash and Himanshu coolly gets past the mid-line.
5-4 Shrikant simply overpowers Sagar Krishna to earn his first point of the game.
5-3 Brilliant work from Ajinkya as he targets the right corner and gets the touch on him. Off Sumit goes!
4-3 Surender gets the better of his rival raider in Manjeet!
3-2 Surender bags anther point as he evades Abishek's dash.
3-1 Pardeep is off to the bench. Aashish and Ajinkya combine to deny the (former?) Dubki King.
2-1 Ajinkya Pawar scores off his first raid!
1-1 Surender Gill, who has been UP Yoddha's main raider this season, grabs a point as he gets a touch on Himanshu.
1-0 Manjeet bags the first point of the game as he picks up a bonus point.
0-0 Pardeep Narwal makes the first raid of the game but returns empty-handed.
Tamil Thalaivas won the toss and chose the right side of the court, UP Yoddha will raid first.
7:30pm: TEAM NEWS!
Tamil Thalavas: Manjeet, Ajinkya Pawar, Abishek, Ashish Malik, Himanshu, Sagar Rathee, Sagar Krishna
UP Yoddha: Pardeep Narwal, Surender Gill, Nitesh Kumar, Ashu, Gurdeep, Sumit, Shrikant Jadhav
7:20pm: Pardeep Narwal seems to have crumbled under the weight of expectations at UP Yoddha. He was expected to spearhead the team's raiding department, but has done little to help his team’s cause. Although he did become the first player to score 1200 points in the PKL’s history earlier in the season, he has just 110 points from 17 games. In comparison, Surender Gill, who is playing just his second season, has amassed 143 points from 16 matches! What has led to this? I analyse - PKL 8: From dominance to despair - what's going wrong with PKL record-breaker Pardeep Narwal?
7:10pm: UP Yoddha ended its four-game losing streak with a 39-35 victory over the Telugu Titans in its previous outing. Surender Gill and Shrikant Jadhav combined for 20 raid points to guide their side to a much-needed win. The team's defence managed only nine tackle points and conceded 23 raid points, which would be a cause for concern for coach Jasveer Singh. Placed seventh, a few favourable results would see the side secure its playoff berth.
7pm: Tamil Thalaivas slipped to a second straight defeat yesterday as it lost 37-29 against Haryana Steelers. The side's defence had an uncharacteristically quiet outing as it finished the game with only eight tackle points. Tamil Thalaivas is still in a good position to qualify for the playoffs and will need a win on against UP Yoddha to better its chances.
6:50pm: 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! Click here to VOTE!
6:40pm: If you've just hopped on the PKL train, fret not, we have you covered. 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' -
6:30pm: Good evening and welcome to the first game of the evening! We've got a cracking contest ahead of us as U Mumba takes on Tamil Thalaivas. But before that, here's a recap of what happened last night in the PKL over the last fortnight- PKL notebook: Swift rescheduling saves the League