Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Lavanya Lakshminaryanan and I will be taking you through today's PKL 8 match between Bengaluru Bulls and Bengal Warriors.
My fingers are not working. That's how furiously I was jabbing away at my keyboard during this game but what a game. You won't be wrong to say the better team in this game lost. Bulls were clearly the better more tactical side but that freak eight point loot for the Warriors, when SEVEN PLAYERS followed Nabibakhsh into the lobby, properly dismantled the Bulls. There seemed to be a brain fade in the end too, with the Bulls seemingly miscalculating the amount of time they had left in the game. After all that fighting, they conceded a one-point loss. A generous dollop of luck, a refreshingly brilliant review and some incredible changes in momentum made this game a cracker of a contest. Both star raiders Pawan and Maninder were kept quiet in the first half but Pawan bounced back with a super 10 [his ninth this season] in the second half while Maninder picked up pace too. Bengal's defence had its moments but they have much to fine tune if they want to stamp their authority in the top four, where they now sit.
POINTS TABLE UPDATE: WARRIORS LEAPFROG FROM EIGHTH TO FOURTH.
Get some rest folks. It's been a crazy day. The Warriors return again tomorrow as will we. Keep up with the latest from PKL 8 on Sportstar.
40-39 Sukesh Hegde comes in for a raid, a do or die raid. All he has to do is run the clock down as the do or die clock activated after the match clock. The game clock is ahead and time is running out. Why aren't the Bulls pushing Sukesh back and giving themselves time for a raid? It seems like they've calculated the time wrong. Pawan seems to be patiently waiting for something but the whistle goes off. If this was a miscalculation, WHAT A MISCALCULATION! WARRIORS WIN.
40-38 Warriors deny the bonus and give a touch and remove the bonus opportunity
40-37 Pawan gets a bonus but no touch points. Goes back to the conversation with his coach where his coach is asking him to go for touch points in addition to the bonus. Pawan wanted to employ Bharat for this purpose. Bengal will now want to waste as much time as they can.
Under a minute and a half left in this game. It's going down to the wire.
40-36 Bharat Naresh takes out Ran Singh. He's essaying his responsibilities brilliantly. Pawan Sehrawat is back
40-35 Maninder comes in for a do or die raid and he takes out Mahender. He gets no support at all
39-35 Bonus point again for Bharat Naresh. Under three minutes left in this game and the camera now pans to Dong Geon Lee. Will he be brought in to strike the Warriors where it hurts? Warriors review the bonus but their quota for brilliant reviews was exhausted earlier. REVIEW UNSUCCESSFUL.
39-34 Bharat Naresh takes a quick bonus for the Bulls
39-33 Chandran Ranjit gets a bonus point but he is brought down in the right corner. Abozar gets a hold on his ankle and the left cover dashed across to finish the job.
Randhir Singh is a massive source of support for the Bulls - he says you have five minutes. A six point lead is nothing. Revive Pawan at any cost. To Chandran he says, get a bonus AND a touch. He also says play with five so Bengal doesn't get the bonus
After a quiet first half, Pawan has surged to a SUPER 10. Can he come back to the mat and finish this with a vengeance for the Bulls?
38-32 Morale for the Bulls is clearly hurting as Maninder comes back with a point
37-32 Pawan is brought down by Ran Singh. Central block there and did it almost all by himself. He gets a green card for dangerous play though.
36-32 Maninder Singh walks back with a bonus
35-32 Chandran Ranjit takes out Abozar Mighani as the ankle hold doesn't quite hold and Pawan is back on the mat.
35-31 Bengal Warriors picks up the bonus point
34-31 Chandran Ranjit takes out Amit. Amit is gifting points to the Bulls for much of this game. But Pawan is not back yet.
34-30 Nabibakhsh gets his first tackle point of the night and takes out the mighty Pawan Sehrawat. He fist is up and rightly so
33-30 Maninder takes out the left defender to get his side a point
32-30 Pawan takes out Amit. They have to keep at it, the Bulls. They can't let this jolt unsettle them
We all deserve a little breather. What have we just witnessed here?
32-29 Warriors bring down Chandran Ranjit to inflict the ALL OUT. What a turnaround!
29-28 Nabibakhsh takes the bonus point, but he's too deep and too much to the corner. Amit Sheoran, Saurabh Nandal all doing their bit to make this happen. SECOND ALL OUT INFLICTED ON THE BENGAL WARRIORS WHO HAVE GIVEN UP ENTIRELY. This is being reviewed. Oh this could be a big moment. The contention is that there was no touch and Nabibakhsh has gone to the lobby. Four defenders fell with him into that lobby. If there is no touch, then four defenders also have to go. It all comes down to the contact between Nabibakhsh and Saurabh Nandal. Touch or no touch? We clearly see Nabibakhsh stepping into the lobby and then getting a touch on Mahender. Can you believe this?! REVIEW SUCCESSFUL. BENGAL GETS AN EIGHT POINT RAID! Bonus plus seven points! My word. Nabibakhsh's error brings a massive loot for the Warriors.
Hold on. The Bulls have counter-reviewed this to try and retain men. The review is to see if everyone has stepped into the lobby after Nabibakhsh.
20-27 Vijin is taking out by Pawan, cartwheeling this time to get a touch and get back to the midline
20-26 Nabibakhsh gets a bonus point for the Warriors
19-26 Pawan does not have to do anything special here as hasty tackles are gifting points to him without him having to try too hard for them
19-25 Pawan Sehrawat gets Abozar Mighani off the mat yet again as he turns and rolls around to the mat to neutralise the tackle
19-24 Sukesh takes the bonus point but is brought down soon after
18-23 Oh MANINDER OFF TO THE BENCH AGAIN. He's stranded there in the centre of the mat as he's surrounding by red shirts. Poor outing for him today
18-22 A late attempt at an ankle hold sees Ran Singh make a mess of it and he walks to the bench
18-21 Maninder gets a touch point of his own as the advance tackle doesn't work as he reaches behind his back to get his hand across the midline
17-21 Ran Singh tries to get a hold and pull on Pawan, trying to hold him by ankle and shoulder. Pawan turns around with a smile and the two exchange a smile. The camaraderie is brilliant
17-20 Sukesh Hegde comes down after getting the bonus point for the Warriors. ALL OUT INFLICTED. THE WARRIORS FOLD.
16-16 Pawan gets a touch on Ran Singh. Bengal down to one man
16-15 Sukesh gets the bonus but only two people left on the mat for Bengal
15-15 HI FLYER FLIES AND HOW! TWO POINTS for that athleticism! He tries a kick on the left corner, sees a dash coming, jumps over the defender and then slides to get his hand across the line. TWO TOUCHES. IMPERIOUS! Now, Bengal may want to review but they have only five seconds to take a review and they;ve missed the window. Fate is cruel, isn't it. Bengal down to two men.
15-14 Sukesh keeps stealing the bonus points.
14-14 Chandran Ranjit gets a sliding toe touch on Abozar Mighani to get going right away
Attempt the bonus, Pawan, says Randhir!
HALF TIME: Bulls and Warriors are almost on even terms as the star raiders - Pawan Sehrawat and Maninder Singh - have struggled to get going tonight. The defensive units of both sides have been ridiculously impressive and kept their sides in the game. In the second 20, some better raiding and more composure in defence will be crucial for a winner to emerge.
As for me - MANIFESTING A WIN, NO DRAW PLEASE!
14-13 Nabibakhsh comes in on a do or die raid but jumps horizontally right into the defensive quicksand of the Bulls - with the right corner and Pawan completing the tackle, giving the Bulls a chance to stay close in terms of the score.
Pawan has been struggling tonight. Two raid points so far from seven attempts. He's not going to look this ratio. Commentators are pinning this on the black shoes he's sporting today. Haha.
Maninder has been off the court for 8 minutes in this half. Not helping their cause. Good thing the Warriors defence is looking decent today.
14-11 OH RAN SINGH. Beautiful backhold there as he takes out Bharat Naresh
13-11 Sukesh Hegde gets the bonus but that won't revive Maninder
12-11 Maninder will go now for sure as he's tackled in the centre of the Bulls half.
12-10 Maninder looks a little like he's stepped out of the end line but he's still on court and Chandran Ranjit who has been tackled out. Okay we've seen a review and here's clarity. Chandran made a touch before Mani stepped out, you are allowed to use that line when you have a touch.
11-10 Nabibakhsh goes a bit too deep as Saurabh gets a hold in his ankle while Mahender comes in with the dash to send Nabibakhsh huffing and puffing to the bench.
11-9 Oh, looks like we've jinxed Bharat instantly. He runs into the lobbies without a touch
10-9 Bharat Naresh is quick and drives through Amit to get the point. Nice work. Sleek from the Bulls raider. He is someone coach Randhir has a lot of confidence in. We can see why
10-8Maninder is looking very patchy here . The defense gets a hold of his waist and brings him down with the second line ready to back them up.
10-7 Amit Sheoran goes for Nabibakhsh but gets no assistance. Saurabh Nandal and Mahender hesistate to get involved and Amit pays the price.
9-7 PAWAN IS OFF TO THE MAT AGAIN. Amit gets a hold on Pawan's ankles but Pawan is yanking away to the midline. Ran Singh comes with the assist and blocks Pawan out.
8-7 Nabibakhsh gets a bonus point for the Warriors
7-7 Amit brings down Maninder as the defence comes to his assistance. Bengal Warriors skipper goes to the bench, Bengaluru Bulls skipper Pawan walks back on to the mat.
7-6 Chandran Ranjit is brought down as he tries to retreat to the midline. Ran Singh giving this defence a bite
6-6 Mahender halts Sukesh Hegde before the right side defence comes to help out. Nice work.
6-5 Bonus point for Bengaluru Bulls. Pawan still on the bench.
6-4 The Warriors have taken out Pawan Sehrawat and sent him to the bench again
5-4 MANINDER IS OFF THE MAT. He has been dashed out before he can make any impact.
5-3 Pawan gets a bonus point for Bengaluru Bulls
5-2 Chandran Ranjit gets a kick on an eager Abozar Mighani who is hasty to attempt a tackle that doesn't pan out. This brings Pawan Sehrawat back on the mat.
5-1 Sukesh Hedge does very well to amp up the pace and get a touch on Amit Sheoran. He then uses the lobby to get to the midline
4-0 Sukesh Hegde does well to get his hand across the midline despite Mahender attempting a block and dash close to the centre
3-0 Another bonus point for Bengal Warriors.
2-0 WOW. WHAT IS THIS FIRE FROM ABOZAR? WHERE HAS THIS ABOZAR BEEN ALL ALONG? He gets a hold on Pawan's left thigh and halts him on the spot in the right corner. Brilliant work and Pawan is sent to the bench.
1-0 Maninder gives Bengal Warriors a bonus point to open the scoring
Pawan Sehrawat has eight super 10s, Maninder has 9. What a match-up this! Live action now
Bengaluru Bulls: Pawan Sehrawat, Ankit, Chandran Ranjith, Saurabh Nandal, Amit Sheoran, Mohit Sehrawat, Mahender Singh
Bengal Warriors: Maninder Singh, Amit Narwal, Vijin Thangadurai, Sukesh Hegde, Mohammad Nabibakhsh, Abozar Mighani, Ran Singh
1ST FIXTURE HIGHLIGHTS: The last time these two teams faced off, a very strategic substitution helped Randhir Singh's men deny the Bengal Warriors. Check out the highlights
8PM: HEAD TO HEAD:
Bengaluru Bulls have won nine and lost eight
of their 17 matches against the Bengal Warriors. Their ninth win came earlier this season, when they beat the Warriors 36-35.
The Bengaluru Bulls succumbed to a 38-31 loss in their previous outing against the Patna Pirates. Pawan Sehrawat had a tremendous first half and he finished the game with a Super 10. But the rest of the raiding unit had a rough night, as they combined for just seven points, two of which were bonuses allowed to the last man on the mat. Mahender Singh and Saurabh Nandal had great outings, as both players scored six tackle points. Coach Randhir Singh Sehrawat will want his team to put this loss in the rear-view mirror as quickly as possible, but he will also
expect better performances from raiders Bharat and Chandran Ranjit , who combined for just two raid points against the Pirates.
Bengal Warriors skipper Maninder Singh came to his team’s rescue again, scoring 10 of their 16 raid points in a narrow 28-27 win against the Telugu Titans. The raider has scored 39 points in his last three matches and has been the primary reason for their three-game unbeaten run. But the over-reliance on Maninder could backfire for the Warriors. The rest of the team have struggled for form, especially their defence, which is averaging only 8.45 tackle points per game, ranking 11th in the league. Statistically, the Bulls have the most potent raiding unit in the league. If the defence fails to keep Bengaluru’s raiders in check, their recent resurgence could come to a crashing halt on Thursday.
7:55PM: Another helpful reminder of the rules. If you need it!
7:50PM: Hello folks! Welcome to our live coverage of the second game of the evening between Bengaluru Bulls and Bengal Warriors. Before we get to that, here is our review of the season so far -