Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of the Pro Kabaddi League. This is Nihit Sachdeva and I will be taking you through today's PKL 8 match between Dabang Delhi K.C. and U Mumba.
Before you leave, do take some time to vote for your favourite athletes/teams in the 2022 Sportstar Aces Awards. CLICK HERE TO VOTE
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:
Summary: It was a close contest all the way through. Both, Dabang Delhi and U Mumba, initially played on the do-or-die raid resulting in a low scoring first half. Going into the final five minutes, the score was tied at 25-25. Fazel Atrachali's side soon inflicted an All Out on Delhi in the beginning of the second half from there on, Delhi kept chipping away at U Mumba's lead making it anyone's game going into the last five minutes with the score 25-25. However, a sensational dubki from the substitute raider Neeraj Narwal removed Fazel and Rinku in the same raid and paved the way for Delhi to inflict an All Out on U Mumba. Delhi then held its nerve to close out the game at 36-30. Despite the continued absence of star raider Naveen Kumar, Delhi's other raiders did a great job with Vijay picking up a Super 10 and Ashu (8 points) and Neeraj (6 points) supporting him. With this win, Dabang Delhi strengthened its position at the top of the table while U Mumba missed the opportunity to climb from fifth to third.
36-30: Final raid of the match and it ends with a glorious ankle hold by Manjeet on Abhishek who had already picked up a bonus. Dabang Delhi beats U Mumba 36-30!!!
35-29: It gets better for Vijay. He drew Ajeet into a tackle and then escaped stopping near the mid-line to waste time. Ajeet pushed him over. Four seconds left.
34-29: Ajith picks up a quick touch point but it is probably too late.
34-28: U Mumba is desperate now and it shows as Harendra tries to take Vijay down but fails. Super 10 for Vijay.
33-28: ALL OUT!!! Sub Jashandeep picks up a bonus but gets trapped by the second line of Delhi defence.
30-27: U Mumba is down to one man. Abhishek tried to get the ankle hold on Neeraj but it was a hopeless one.
29-27: Abhishek Singh picks up a bonus.
29-26:Dubki!!! Neeraj Narwal saw Fazel and Rinku coming towards him and went underneath them to reach the mid-line.
27-26: Error from Sandeep. Quick touch point for Shivam.
Now, U Mumba has used its time out. The plan is to give your 100 per cent for the bonus and also, go towards Manjeet.
27-25: Sandeep says, "I'll do it." The all-rounder came up with a great ankle hold to take Ajith down on the right corner. U Mumba has used the review asking for the bonus but it is an unsuccessful one.
Delhi has taken a time out. The plan is for Manjeet to go for Ajith if he comes to raid.
26-25: Do-or-die raid for Neeraj and Ajeet goes for the ankle hold pretty quickly. No support from others, rightly so, as Neeraj runs away with a touch point.
Final strategic time out. Five minutes to go.
25-25: Do-or-die raid for Shivam, the bonus was not there for the taking but Vijay anyway got drawn into the ankle hold and provided a touch point.
25-24: Rinku goes for the back hold on Neeraj but the raider's momentum carried him to the mid-line.
24-24: Vijay!!! A massive dash sends Abhishek Singh flying off the mat before he could reach the mid-line.
23-24: Neeraj Narwal comes in for the raid, does not pick up a bonus but Fazel gifts him a touch point.
22-24: Do-or-die raid? No worries. Abhishek Singh quickly picks up a running hand touch off Krishan on the right corner.
First strategic time out. Ten minutes to go. Nothing to chose between the two sides. This could go write down to the wire.
22-23: Ajeet comes up with a massive block to take down Ashu who was returning to his side of the mat after taking another bonus.
21-22: Ashu picks up a bonus.
20-22: Ashu with a massive back-kcik sends Fazel off the mat. Well done, Ashu.
19-22: This time, Ajith gets the better off Manjeet who was drawn in for the block but was a bit too far from the raider.
19-21: Finally, a successful tackle for Ajeet as he traps Vijay in the ankle hold.
19-20: Brutal. Manjeet takes down Ajith Kumar all on his own.
18-20: A rare error from Krishan Dhull as he went in but then failed to step back, providing an easy touch point for Abhishek Singh.
18-19: Ashu has been having a decent night so far. Another successful raid as Ajeet's block comes too late and the raider had already reached closer to the mid-line.
17-19: Vijay goes in for the raid, picks a bonus successfully, but post that, gets trapped in Rinku's ankle hold on the right corner.
16-18: A quick running hand touch off Jeeba for Abhishek.
16-17: Vijay keeps up the good work. Rinku and Harendra went for him but he was close to the mid-line.
14-17: Manjeet tries to push Abhishek off the mat but fails.
14-16: ALL OUT!!! Vijay picks up a bonus but then gets blocked by Fazel. The U Mumba captain has been on fire today.
13-13: Delhi is down to one man. Joginder Narwal went for the double ankle hold on Ajith but could not do it all on his own.
13-12: Vijay picks up a bonus. However, it does not bring a revival which his side desperately needs.
Both teams have played a lot on the do-or-die raids. Probably that is why it has been a considerably low-scoring first half. It looked as if Delhi was close to inflicting an All Out on U Mumab but U Mumba has turned it around and now it is Fazel Atrachali's side who is two Delhi player's away from the All Out. Fazel was holding his chest at the end of first half. U Mumba will hope that it is not something serious.
HALF-TIME: Dabang Delhi K.C. 12-12 U Mumba
12-12: Another bonus point for Vijay in the final raid of the first half.
11-12: Do-or-die raid for Abhishek, three players on the mat for Delhi and he gets a running hand touch off Manjeet.
11-11: Vijay picks up a bonus.
10-11: Shivam comes up with another successful raid. Sandeep Narwal tried the thigh hold but the U Mumba raider somehow went past him.
10-10: Not this time, Ashu. Another do-or-die raid for the young raider but this time, Fazel comes up with a brilliant block to take him down.
10-9: Krishan goes for the ankle hold on Ajith but the raider is too quick and escapes without any harm.
10-8: Do-or-die raid for Ashu Malik and he picks a magnificent running hand touch off Harendra on the right.
9-8: Shivam, a young raider, had been subbed in by U Mumba, and he does not disappoint as he gets a running hand touch off Jeeva.
9-7: SUPER TACKLE!!!! Sandeep Narwal went in for the raid with just Harendra and Fazel on the mat. He tried to get a touch off Fazel on the left corner, the Sultan bent down and got hold of his ankle before Harendra came for the support and pushed him off the mat. However, Dabang Delhi has used its review saying that Fazel's right foot had touched the blue area before coming in contact with Sandeep. THE DECISION GOES AGAINST DABANG DELHI.
9-5: Manjeet is clearly carrying confidence from the last match. A brilliant ankle hold takes down Abhishek in the do-or-die raid.
8-5: SUPER TACKLE!!! Harendra's block was somewhat insufficient but Fazel came in time for the support and Ashu Malik has been taken down.
8-3: Ashu Malik is the new Hi-Flyer. It was a do-or-die raid. He first took a touch on the left corner and when Ajinkya came for the block, he literally flew over him to reach the mid-line.
6-3: Lovely. Immense patience shown by Delhi defenders in Ajith's do-or-die raid. With four seconds on the clock, they trapped him.
5-3: Weak ankle hold by Ajeet and Vijay escapes easily.
4-3: Abhishek Singh goes in for the raid and steps into the lobbies before Jeeva goes for his ankle on the left corner. Self out.
3-3: Vijay picks up a bonus.
2-3: Manjeet goes for the ankle hold on Abhishek but gets no support.
2-2: A quick running hand touch off Ajeet by Ashu Malik.
1-2: Miscommunication between Jeeva and Joginder gives Ajith a touch point. Joginder is off.
1-1: An audacious ankle hold by Harendra stops Vijay Kumar who was mid air.
1-0: Abhishek Singh comes in for the opening raid and walks staright into Sandeep and Manjeet's chain.
TOSS - Dabang Delhi wins the toss. U Mumba to raid first.
A big win for 11th-placed Gujarat Giants which just beat fourth-placed Haryana Steelers 32-26 to keep its play-off hopes alive. ICYMI, here are the match highlights:
8:26PM: Massive news for the Indian sports fraternity: National men's hockey team gaolkeeper PR Sreejesh has won the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year for his 2021 performances, becoming only the second Indian to receive the accolade.
Dabang Delhi K.C. - Joginder Narwal (c), Vijay, Jeeva Kumar, Manjeet Chhillar, Sandeep Narwal, Krishan Dhull, Ashu Malik
Subs: Neeraj Narwal, Sushant Sail, Balram, Mohammad Malak, Deepak
U Mumba - Fazel Atrachali (c), Abhishek Singh, Ajeet, Harendra Kumar, Ajinkya Kapre, V Ajith, Rinku
Subs: Baljinder Singh, Pankaj, Jashandeep Singh, Shivam, Prince
8:10PM: Head-to-head stats: Matches played - 17, Matches won by Dabang Delhi - 4, Matches won by U Mumba - 12, Tied matches - 1, Last meeting - Dabang Delhi won 31-27
8:07PM: In the first game of the evening, Vikash Kandola's Haryana Steelers is up against Sunil Kumar's Gujarat Giants. The Giants lead 27-19 with 10 minutes left. Follow my colleague Lavanya Lakshminarayanan's live coverage here:
Dabang Delhi K.C. snapped its two-game losing streak with an impressive 41-22 win over the Gujarat Giants in its previous outing . The victory was a complete team effort, as five of the seven starters scored five or more points and helped their side to victory. Vijay continued to shine in Naveen Kumar’s absence, leading Delhi in scoring eight points. Delhi can become the first team to breach the 50-point mark in the standings with a win or a tie against U Mumba on Monday. They will have their work cut out trying to contain the in-form U Mumba, but they will back themselves to get the win.
After a run of four games without a win, U Mumba has registered two straight victories in its last two outings and climbed to fifth on the points table. The key to its recent resurgence has been raider Abhishek Singh’s return to form. He has scored 26 points in U Mumba’s last two matches and has been the lynchpin in offence. V Ajith Kumar has played an excellent helping hand and has picked up 13 points over the previous two games. Skipper Fazel Atrachali has also been outstanding and has scored nine tackle points in U Mumba’s last two outings. With the defence and offence finding their footing together, U Mumba now look like a dangerous team to play against.
7:45PM: 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! Support your favourite athlete/team here .
7:35PM: Another helpful reminder of the rules. If you need it!
7:30PM: Hello folks! Welcome to our live coverage of the second and final game of the evening between Dabang Delhi K.C. and U Mumba. Before we get to that, here are the results from the last three days -
January 28: Patna Pirates steamrolls Tamil Thalaivas 52-24
- Late Harry Kane double-goal sends Bayern Munich past Galatasaray and into the Champions League Round of 16
- Meg Lanning announces international retirement, to continue playing league cricket
- Champions League: Unfortunate Manchester United gives up two-goal lead in loss in Copenhagen after Rashford suspension
- Copenhagen vs Manchester United Highlights, CPH 4-3 MUN, Champions League: Super-sub Roony scores winning goal against 10-men United
- World Cup 2023, ENG vs NED: Stokes comes to the party as England keeps Champions Trophy qualification hopes alive