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 Patna Pirates and Tamil Thalaivas.
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Summary: It's a performance that'll be remembered for a very long time. Patna Pirates stepped on the mat after a gap of 10 days and set it on fire with the best-ever defensive performance (21 tackle points) in a match in PKL history in a dominating 52-24 win over Tamil Thalaivas. Three of Patna's defenders - Neeraj, Sunil and Shadloui - picked up High Fives and never allowed the likes of Manjeet and Ajinkya Pawar to find any weakness. The good work done by the defenders gave Patna's raiders Monu Goyat and skipper Prashanth Kumar Rai more confidence as they ripped apart a shocked Thalaivas defensive unit. With this win, Patna Pirates moves to second on the points table, one point behind league leader Bengaluru Bulls with three games in hand. The Thalaivas stay on 10th.
52-24: Prashanth Kumar Rai goes in for the final raid and simply runs down the clock. Patna Pirates beats Tamil Thalaivas 52-24!!!!
52-24: A touch point gifted by Sunil who went for a back hold that was not there and Ajinkya runs back quickly. Ten seconds to go. Time for one more raid.
51-22: HIGH FIVE FOR SUNIL!!! Patna Pirates defenders are having a memorable night in Bengaluru. Sunil holds back Athul.
50-22: Monu Goyat will have to wait for his Super 10 as the Thalaivas defense pushes him off the mat comfortably.
50-21: HIGH FIVE FOR NEERAJ!! Neeraj joins the party as he once again puts Ajinkya flat on the mat.
49-21: A running hand touch by Monu Goyat on Surjeet.
48-19: ALL OUT!!! Patna is relentless. Mohit goes in for the raid hoping to get a touch and revive at least one of his teammates but Patna does not even gift him a bonus.
44-19: They can do no wrong today. Neeraj pushes Ajinkya off the mat on his own.
Final strategic time out. Five minutes to go.
43-19: This is proper demolition in defense as well as offense. Sachin Tanwar runs away with one more touch point as the opposition skipper Surjeet puts in a half-hearted attempt.
42-19: I don't understand what Sagar Rathee was trying to do there. It seemed as if he was trying to stop Sachin by getting hold of his right hand.
41-19: Ruthless. Manjeet looks helpless as the Patna defense picks up another tackle point.
38-19: ALL OUT!!! Sagar Rathee, who has had a decent outing in defense, goes in for the raid as the last man standing. However, the youngster has been blocked easily after picking up a bonus.
34-18: HIGH FIVE FOR SHADLOUI! Mohit has been taken down by the big Iranian.
First strategic timeout. Ten minutes to go and a mountain to climb for Tamil Thalaivas.
33-18: Ajinkya Pawar is the next raider from Thalaivas. Patna Pirates does not care whoever it is as they just keep the good work going with another successful tackle.
32-18: SUPER TACKLE!!! Monu Goyat tries his best to escape from Sagar Rathee's hold but the other two Thalaivas defenders manage to stop him from just getting his foot over the mid-line. HIGH GIVE FOR SAGAR RATHEE.
32-16: Sunil with another moment of magic picks up another tackle point. A great back hold on Athul MS.
31-16: Wow! Sajin and Sunil with the combination tackle trap tall Manjeet and the Pirates are running away with the game.
29-16: Tamil Thalaivas' raiders are having a tough night and it continues. Ajinkya Pawar unable to do much.
28-16: Prashanth Kumar Rai picks up a bonus.
27-16: Clever. Manjeet sends Monu Goyat to the bench with a brutal quick to his face.
26-14: ALL OUT!!! Bhavani Rajput picks up a bonus but nothing more as Shadloui puts in a brilliant thigh hold to stop him.
23-13: Tamil Thalaivas is down to one man and close to another all out. It was do or die raid for Sachin, Surjeet went a bit too quickly for the ankle hold and Sagar Krishna had no time to come for the assist.
22-13: Bhavani Rajput picks up a bonus and then gets substituted again.
22-12: Do-or-die raid for Ajinkya Pawar and guess who initiates the tackle? It's raider Monu Goyat. Incredible.
HALF-TIME: Patna Pirates 21-12 Tamil Thalaivas
21-12: Manjeet goes in for the raid, gets the touch and turns entering the lobbies on the left. It looks like he has got his hand across the line and therefore, this could well be a super raid. The official though has ruled "raider out" leading to a review from Tamil Thalaivas. But the decision goes in Patna's favour.
19-12: Manjeet returns the favour as he puts in a quick raid and gets a touch off Neeraj,
19-11: Mohit Goyat is back and how! Another quick toe touch to send Mohit to the bench.
18-11: Bonus for Ajinkya Pawar.
17-9: Third tackle point for Sagar Rathee as he takes down Monu Goyat.
17-8: Well, the errors from TT defense continue as Prashanth Kumar picks two more touch points.
15-8: ALL OUT!!! handshake from Sagar Rathee as he does not want to waste time.
12-8: Athul MS goes in for the raid and steps into the lobbies without a touch. Self-out, off you go.
10-8: Shadloui with a massive dash pushes Manjeet off the mat.
9-8: Monu Goyat in for the raid, Sagar R tries the back hold but finds that he is the only one in the struggle.
8-8: Manjeet invites Neeraj on the right corner to go for him and then escapes easily.
8-7: Another successful raid for Monu Goyat as he gets a quick touch off Mohit.
7-7: Do-or-die raid for Ajinkya, tries the dubki but the chain of Shadloui and Sajin traps him. Self-out for Sunil.
6-6: Sachin Tanwar goes in, four TT defenders on the mat but they are enough to take him down!'
6-5: Error in defense from Sagar Rathee. Touch Point for Sachin.
4-5: Prashanth Kumar Rai has been pushed off the mat.
3-4: Sunil goes for the ankle hold on Manjeet on the right corner but gets no support and the tall raider makes his way back to the mid-line
3-3: Well, well. The Thalaivas defense shows what it is made of as Monu Goyat gets mobbed.
3-2: A quick touch point by the ever so dynamic Ajinkya Pawar sends Sajin C to the bench.
3-1: Manjeet's second raid and it is an unsuccessful one as the Patna defense takes him down.
2-1: So does Monu Goyat. A bonus for Patna's star raider.
1-1: Manjeet picks up a bonus.
1-0: Monu Goyat goes in for the opening raid and straight away picks up a touch point of Sagar Krishna on the right corner.
TOSS - Tamil Thalaivas wins the toss. Patna Pirates to raid first.
Patna Pirates: Prashanth Kumar Rai (c), Sachin Tanwar, Neeraj Kumar, Sajin C, Monu Goyat, Sunil, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh Shadloui
Subs: Sourav Gulia, Shubham Shinde, Guman Singh, Selvamani K, Monu
Tamil Thalaivas: Surjeet Singh (c), Manjeet, Sagar Rathee, Mohit, Ajinkya Pawar, Sagar Krishna, Himanshu
Subs: Sahil Singh, Bhavani Rajput, Asiri Alawathge, Athul MS, Santhapanaselvam
7:10PM: Head-to-head stats: Matches played - 9, Matches won by Patna Pirates - 5, Matches won by Tamil Thalaivas - 2, Matches tied - 2, Last meeting: 30-30 tie
Patna Pirates is back into action after its 29-32 loss to Dabang Delhi K.C. 10 days ago. It is sixth in the points table with 40 points in 11 matches and a win or a tie today against Tamil Thalaivas will take it to second. Its defensive unit has been the most impressive this season with 11.82 average tackle points. However, it will hope that its raiders will up their game in order to make the team a tough side to beat.
Tamil Thalaivas comes into this match after a 34-34 tie against Jaipur Pink Panthers on January 22. It is 10th in the standings with 34 points in 12 matches. The Thalaivas are averaging 10.58 tackle points per game. Their raiding unit is only slightly better than Patna's, and is averaging 19 points per game. The Thalaivas are winless in their last four outings and desperately need a win to get their season back on track.
6:45PM: 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 .
6:40PM: Another helpful reminder of the rules. If you need it!
6:35PM: In case you are wondering why there is only one game today, it is because a number of COVID-19 positive cases were reported amongst two teams forcing PKL organiser Mashal Sports to reschedule some games. Read the full story here: COVID-19 hits Pro Kabaddi League, changes in January fixtures
6:30PM: Hello folks! Welcome to our live coverage of the only PKL game for today between Patna Pirates and Tamil Thalaivas. Before we get to that, here are the results from the last three days -
January 27: Puneri Paltan hammers UP Yoddha 44-38
January 26: U Mumba routs Bengaluru Bulls despite Pawan's heroics
January 25: Haryana Steelers and Telugu Titans share spoils after 39-39 tie