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 U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls.

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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U Mumba claims its second win on the trot and extends its unbeaten run to four games as Fazel Atrachali's side beats Bengaluru Bulls 45-34. Abhishek Singh claimed another Super 10 as he scored 11 points, but the top performer of the evening for U Mumba was Rahul Sethpal. The all-rounder inflicted two crucial Super Tackles to finish with eight points. Ajith Kumar was also lethal as he put up eight points on the board.

MATCH REPORT - Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: U Mumba routs Bengaluru Bulls despite Pawan's heroics

Pawan Sehrawat was brilliant as always for Bengaluru Bulls as he scored 14 points and became the first player to cross the 200-point mark this season, but his heroics wasn't enough to take the Bulls to a win. The defence faltered in key moments and was unable to revive Pawan quickly. Deepak Narwal, who found a place in the starting 7 in place of Chandran Ranjith, had a poor outing as he managed just one point.

The result sees U Mumba climb to the fourth spot on the table, while Bengaluru Bulls remains at the top. The Bulls, however, have played 15 games and can be displaced by any of the seven teams trailing them.

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

 

FULL-TIME: U Mumba defeats Bengaluru Bulls 45-34 and climbs to the fourth spot on the table.

45-34 Harendra takes out Pawan in the final raid of the match and that's the game!

44-33 Fazel wanted a solo tackle but does not get it as Pawan overpowers him.

44-32 That's superb from Ajith - he gets rid of two defenders to take his tally to eight points.

42-32 Pawan tempts and teases Rinku and slips out of his ankle hold.

42-31 Pawan gets the better of Fazel this time around, but it may be a little too late with the Bulls staring at a 11-point deficit.

42-30 Ajinkya goes for the bonus point but to no avail as he's tackled right away.

42-29 Rahul is at it again as he tackles Pawan to perfection!

41-29 ALL OUT! U Mumba has stormed to a 11-point lead and is well-positioned to take all the points on offer here.

38-29 No luck for Lee as he's shoved off the mat.

The Bulls are down two men and Dong Geon Lee has come on!

37-28 That's a schoolboy error from Aman as he steps into the lobby and his tackle on Abhishek will not count.

Pawan has spent an average of 16 minutes off the mat each game this season.

36-28 Rahul, Ajinkya and Fazel combine to send Bharat packing! The U Mumba defence has taken it up a notch here.

Fazel seems to have hurt his shoulder along the way and is grimacing in pain. "No problem" he says.

35-28 Rahul dives in to grab Pawan's ankles and Fazel darts from the left as the U Mumba defence does extremely well to wrestle Pawan to the mat.

33-28 Another unsuccessful tackle for U Mumba as Rinku fails to tackle Bharat.

33-27 Ajith delivets when it matters the most as he gets a running hand touch on Deepak.

32-27 Do-or-die raid for Bengaluru Bulls at the other end and Rahul attempts an ankle hold on Deepak, but the latter gets away. Rahul got no support there...

32-26 It's a do-or-die raid and Ajinkya gets the job done as he gets past Saurabh.

Bengaluru Bulls coach Randhir Singh, "Both their raiders are off the mat. Play on the third raid and force the do-or-die raid"

31-26 Fazel wanted that tackle and gets it! He land a double thigh hold on Bharat and gets support from Rinku.

GB More has taken a knock to the head and is receiving medical attention.

30-26 Abhishek is trapped by the Bengaluru Bulls defenced and Pawan is back on the mat.

30-25 Do-or-die raid for Bengaluru Bulls and Pawan goes in. It's a risk for Bengaluru Bulls and the side pays the price as Pawan is taken out by Rinku. You have to wonder why the coach did not send Bharat instead for the do-or-die raid.

29-25 Wow, Bharat! The raider executes a perfect ankle hold to stop Ajith.

29-24 That's a strange bit of play from Harender as he makes a silly error to gift Bharat a point. That brings Pawan back on the mat.

29-23 Pawan tries to leap over Harender, but the U Mumba defender latches on to Pawan's ankles and that's that. Fazel will come back onto the mat now.

28-23 Saurabh makes a phenomenal tackle to take out Abhishek!

28-22 That's a stunning piece of skill from Pawan as he lands a kick on Fazel's midriff.

28-21 That's some start to the second half for U Mumba as it inflicts another ALL OUT ! U Mumba's plan seems to be very simple - keep Pawan off the mat for as long as possible.

25-20 SUPER 10 for Abhishek! Two big points for Abhishek as he gets rid of both the covers in Mayur and Mahender.

23-20 Pawan sets the ball rolling in the second half and is tackled right away. Fazel races in from the left and the entire U Mumba defence pounces on Pawan.

HALF-TIME: U Mumba has a slender two-point lead at the interval.

22-20 Bharat, Bengaluru Bulls' primary raider, proves his mettle as he slips out of Rahul's challenge.

22-19 That's poor work from the Bengaluru Bulls defence! Abhishek sneaks out of GB More's tackle and Aman, strangely, also gets involved and Abhishek has the last laugh.

18-19 Bengaluru Bulls has taken the lead Pawan outfoxes Fazel! One captain gets the better of the other. SUPER 10 for Pawan !

18-18 ALL OUT! Aman from the left corner lays an ankle hold on Rahul and Saurabh gives him the necessary support. What a game this is turning out to be!

17-15 Oh my, what a silly error from Fazel! He steps off-bounds before making a superb tackle on Pawan. Pawan survives, U Mumba in trouble. 

17-14 Do-or-die raid for Ajith and he steps into the lobby. He didn't really seem to have a plan there...

17-13 SUPER TACKLE AGAIN FROM RAHUL! He waits patiently until the right moment and then pounces on Deepak Narwal. Deepak has had a poor outing so far. And that also brings up Rahul's High-5 !

15-13 No way out for Ajinkya as Saurabh flattens him to the mat. U Mumba down to two men again. 

15-12 SUPER TACKLE FROM RAHUL SETHPAL! He comes off the bench and does so in style as he traps Pawan in a stunning double thigh hold. U Mumba is back in the lead!

13-12 Ajith Kumar does so well as he executes the frog jump to leap over Mahender.

11-12 Bengaluru Bulls has taken the lead as Pawan scored another point! What a comeback from Bengaluru Bulls.

11-11 Scores are on level terms! Saurabh and Deepak combine to tackle Abhishek.

11-10 There's no stopping Pawan! He's picked up Harendra, who is clearly out of position, and U Mumba is on the verge of an All Out.

11-9 The High-Flyer has well and truly arrived! He jumps over Rinku, in what almost seemed like a parkour move, to score his seventh point of the game.

11-8 Abhishek delivers on the do-or-die raid as he gets a fine running hand touch on Mayur.

10-8 Pawan literally pushes Ajinkya through the mid-line and U Mumba has been reduced to four men.

10-7 SUPER RAID FROM PAWAN! Pawan strikes and he strikes big as he gets the better of U Mumba's two key defenders - Fazel and Rahul. Pawan bags the bonus too!

10-4 Ajith and Pawan deal in bonus points as U Mumba holds on to its six-point lead.

9-3 ALL OUT! U Mumba has inflicted the All Out inside the opening five minutes as Rahul Sethpal and Fazel combine to tackle Bharat.

5-1 Abhishek gets rid of another defender and the Bulls are down to two men!

4-1 Ajinkya Kapre, who makes a comeback to the U Mumba starting 7, does really well to trap Deepak Narwal.

3-1 Ajith Kumar strikers right away as he gets rid of Aman. A good start for the U Mumba raiders.

2-1 That's a superb tackle from Fazel! Pawan was targetting the Iranian and had a couple of go's at him but did not manage a touch. Fazel, though, leaped into a fine back-hold and had Pawan flat on the mat.

1-1 Pawan bags a bonus point to get his side going.

1-0 Abhishek gets off the mark right away as he lands a running hand touch on Saurabh.

Bengaluru Bulls won the toss and chose the left side of the court, U Mumba to raid first.

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7:30pm: LINE UPS! Here's how the two teams will start today -

U Mumba - Fazel Atrachali, Abhishek Singh, Harendra Kumar, Ajith Kumar, Ajinkya Kapre, Rahul, Rinku

Bengaluru Bulls - Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, Mayur Kadam, Mahender Singh, Bharat, Deepak Narwal, Saurabh Nandal, Aman

7:25pm: Bengaluru Bulls skipper Pawan leads the scoring charts with will 186 raid points and has also made 151 successful raids, the most in PKL 8. But did you know that the Hi-Flyer nearly quit the game after barely getting any game time with Gujarat Giants post season five?

Here's a really fun chat we had with him last season where he talks about his journey with Bengaluru Bulls, how coach Randhir Singh made him believe he had a future in the sport and his love for PUBG (it was still around then!).

 

7:15pm: Speaking of Fazel, the Iranian defender is one of the best names in the League. He is the best-paid foreign player in the PKL and is among the top defenders in the modern age. He orchestrated Iran's win over India at the 2018 Asian Games and led the nation to the gold medal.

Fazel, also one of the most entertaining players in the PKL, had a sit-down with us last season and spoke about his love for Bollywood, Indian food and the time when he met Amitabh Bachchan -

7pm: Much like U Mumba, Bengaluru Bulls also beat Telugu Titans 36-31 to snapped a three-game losing streak. Pawan Sehrawat led by example as he racked up 12 points, while Bharat continued to make an impact by picking up seven raid points. Bengaluru Bulls' defence, one of the best in the league, had another spectacular outing as Saurabh Nandal and Aman scored four tackle points each. The defence will have its task cut out to contain Abhishek and Ajith Kumar, while Pawan will shoulder the raiding responsibilties.

6:50pm: Coming to today's game, U Mumba will be very keen to ride the momentum after beating Telugu Titans in its last game. The former champion was winless in four games prior to that and will look to extend its winning streak. The side's primary raider Abhishek Singh, who had a lean spell, found his purple patch as he bagged 15 raid points. Another player who came back to form was the skipper Fazel Atrachali, who picked up his first High-5 of the season. The U Mumba defence, led by Fazel, will have to be at their very best if they are to get the better of Bengaluru Bulls' potent raiding trio of Pawan Sehrawat, Bharat and Chandran Ranjith.

6:40pm: The coronavirus has hit the PKL too as cases among two teams has forced the organisers to make a few changes to the schedule. As opposed to the usual double-headers on all days except Saturdays, only one game will be played from Tuesday to Friday while the weekend will have two games each. Here is the revised schedule for the week: COVID-19 hits Pro Kabaddi League, changes in January fixtures

6:30pm: Hey folks, welcome to our live blog of the clash between U Mumba and Bengaluru Bulls. Before we get to that, here is our review of the season thus far by my colleague Lavanya Lakshminarayanan -

PKL: Newcomers share limelight; teams risk burnout