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 Tamil Thalaivas and Gujarat Giants.


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Summary: Tamil Thalaivas were chasing Gujarat Giants for most part of this game but they finally got ahead after the final strategic time-out and quickly took a six point lead. Gujarat Giants turned it around in a space of two raids. After Rakesh Narwal made it 28-32 with a two-touch point raid, substitute raider Pradeep Kumar provided the moment of the match which broke the back of Tamil Thalaivas's defense as he removed Sagar, Surjeet and Sahil in a Super Raid. From there on, a Tamil Thalaivas' All Out was inevitable. However, the manner in which it was inflicted was quite controversial as Manjeet, the sole TT player on the mat, went in for the raid and entered the lobbies claiming a touch point apart from a bonus. The decision went against him and his team could not do much as they had already wasted their review earlier. Still, Tamil Thalaivas restored parity as Mohit pushed Mahendra Rajput off the mat but in the very next raid, Giants skipper Sunil Kumar came up with a massive block on Manjeet. In the final raid, the Thalaivas sensibly played a high line in order to deny Mahendra the opportunity to put in a legal raid and walk back but the defense, which was unusually poor, failed to support Sagar's ankle hold on Mahendra Rajput in time. With this win, Gujarat Giants stay on tenth. The loss by less than seven points gives Tamil Thalaivas one point and they climb up to sixth.

Well, it will take me some time to process what just happened. In the meanwhile, you can follow my colleague Lavanya Lakshminarayanan's live coverage of the second game of the evening between Bengaluru Bulls and Bengal Warriors here: Pro Kabaddi PKL 8 Highlights: Nabibakhsh's freak raid helps Bengal Warriors beat Pawan Sehrawat's Bengaluru Bulls

35-37: Mahendra Rajput has won it for the Giants! The Tamil Thalaivas defense was playing a high line in order to make it impossible for the raider to make it a legal raid unless he got a touch. Mahendra Rajput tried the back kick once or twice on the right corner but failed. Then, Sagar went for the ankle hold and got a decent one to be honest but in what has been the story of the night, the rest of the defense was just a little too late for the assist. Tall Mahendra Rajput had just the enough amount of time to get his hand across the mid-line. Gujarat Giants beat Tamil Thalaivas 37-35!!!

35-36: SUNIL KUMAR. WHAT. A. BLOCK. The Giants skipper with a brilliant thigh hold takes down Manjeet. Five seconds left and the Gujarat Giants are ahead again!!!!

35-35: Super man Mohit pushes Mahendra Rajput off the mat. Less than a minute and scores are level.

34-35: Unbelievable! It is an ALL OUT but not how you would imagine! Manjeet picked up a bonus and then claimed a touch. However, the official ruled otherwise and gave the points to Gujarat as Manjeet stepped into the lobbies. TT needed that review.

33-32: Pradeep keeps the momentum going. Ajinkya Pawar could not do much as Pradeep picked up a touch off him and ran back. Only Manjeet on the mat now.

33-31: A quick bonus point picked up by Manjeet.

32-31: SUPER RAID!!!! Way to announce your entry, Pradeep Kumar! The raider who had been subbed in has wiped off Sahil, Sagar and Surjeet in a single raid.

32-28: Giants' coach Manpreet Singh had told his raiders to look for quick touches and turn this around and Rakesh Narwal does exactly that. Another error from the TT defense and he takes touch point off Athul MS and one other. However, Giants have wastes a review looking for a bonus.

32-26: SUPER 10 FOR AJINKYA! A half-hearted and incomplete run from Parvesh provides Ajinkya Pawar with the easiest of touch point opportunities.

31-26: Mohit joins the party as he pushed Mahendra Rajput off the mat with a great dash.

30-26: They are charged now. The Thalaivas take down Rakesh HS now.

29-26: ALL OUT!!! Manjeet manages to fool both remaining Gujarat players on the mat and the comeback is complete. Super 10 for Manjeet.

25-26: Wow! That's some back hold from Sagar on MGR.

Coach Udayakumar has instructed Tamil Thalaivas not to allow easy bonus and slam them down when they look for it.

Final strategic time-out. Five minutes left. The Thalaivas are close to inflicting an all-out on the Giants.

24-26: Crucial raid from Manjeet as he skips past Rakesh Narwal and Sunil Kumar to make it to the mid-line. The Thalaivas raiders are keeping the team in the game when the defense has uncharacteristically crumbled.

22-26: So close, Rakesh HS! The talented raider jumped over a chain but the momentum didn't help him as he got tackled near the lobbies by Sagar.

21-26: Bhavani Rajput gets brutally blocked by Ankit.

21-25: Manjeet is easily taking touch points of Soleiman. The Giants might want to consider a substitute here.

20-25: Do-or-die raid, Mahendra Rajput goes in, attacks the corner and easily goes past left corner Sahil Singh who tried alone for the block.

First strategic time-out. Ten minutes to go and it is just a four-point gap. Tamil Thalaivas defense has still not been able to rectify their mistakes allowing Rakesh HS to pick easy bonus points.

20-24: Big smile on Manjeet's face and why not as he gets a quick running hand touch on opposition skipper Sunil Kumar.

19-23: Sunil Kumar has literally lifted Ajinkya into the air. The raider will have to wait for his Super 10 for some time.

18-22: Another bonus for Rakesh HS which was unsuccessfully reviewed by Tamil Thalaivas.

18-21: A running hand touch for Ajinkya who is now one short of a Super 10. He sends Iranian defender Soleiman back to the bench.

17-21: Do-or-die raid but Rakesh HS, who has been a revelation this season, finds a quick bonus point and returns.

17-20: Ajinkya picks up a bonus point.

16-20: Sunil Kumar shows how it is done as he gets rid of Manjeet with a brilliant tackle.

16-19: And now the same mistake from the other side. Ankit went for ankle hold on Ajinkya but the in-form raider was too close to the mid-line

15-19: Spoke too soon. A silly error from Sahil Singh and Rakesh HS would not pick an easier touch point than that.

15-17: Well, that's the start they would have hoped for. Mahendra Rajput was a little slow to retreat and Sagar Rathee went for him in that time.

This has been a close contest so far. However, the Tamil Thalaivas defense has not been able to stay compact like they have all season. Will they be able to bounce back in the second half?  Stay tuned to find out.

HALF-TIME: Tamil Thalaivas 14-17 Gujarat Giants

14-17: Last raid of the first half and it is Bhavani Rajput who has been taken down by Mahendra.

14-16: Bonus points picked up quickly by Mahendra Rajput abd Bhavani Rajput.

13-15: Manjeet is a smart raider, isn't he? Again, he gets a touch point and it is off raider Rakesh Narwal.

12-15: ALL OUT!!! And it is done. Manjeet had been subbed in, got a bonus but post that got mobbed.

11-12: Clinical from Rakesh HS. Missed a touch on Sagar Krishna but while on his way back, perfectly negotiated Athul's tackle to take a touch point and now it is a single TT player on the mat.

11-11: Manjeet picks up a bonus and scores are level again.

10-11: Do-or-die raid for Mahendra Rajput and he shows nerves of steel pushing Surjeet and Sagar away before making it across the line.

10-9: Patience. That's what Gujarat defense showed as Ajinkya struggled to find a touch in the do-or-die raid while the clock kept running. Ultimately, he gets blocked.

10-8: Sagar, you beauty! Rakesh HS was looking for a running hand touch but arguably the best right corner of this season executes a brilliant ankle hold before Surjeet comes for the assist.

9-8: Error from Soleiman Pahelwani, the big Iranian defender on the left corner, who tried a back hold on Ajinkya but got no support.

7-8: SUPER TACKLE!!! Rakesh Narwal went a little too deep to get a touch off Ajinkya and gives him the perfect opportunity to tackle him which he does not miss.

5-8: Ajinkya Pawar picks up a bonus.

3-7: First multi-point raid of the night and it is Rakesh Narwal who escapes through a bunch of TT defenders to get his hand across the mid-line. What has he taken? A bonus point and a touch off Manjeet.

3-5: Do-or-die raid, Athul MS is in, picks up a bonus and he stays inside the Giants half courtesy of a brilliant ankle hold on the right corner by Ankit.

2-4: Rakesh HS opens his account for the night with a bonus.

2-3: A vicious back-kick by Mahendra Rajput and he gets the dangerous Tamil Thalaivas skipper Surjeet.

2-2: Quick running hand touch and Manjeet sends Rakesh Narwal to the bench.

1-2: Rakesh Narwal picks up a bonus.

1-1: Do-or-die raid and it is Manjeet who takes the responsibility. Unfortunately, he can't do much and has been tackled by Parvesh Bhainswal.

1-0: After raids from Manjeet, Rakesh Narwal and Bhavani Rajput, first point of the match is a tackle point for Surjeet who takes down Rakesh HS.


TOSS - Gujarat Giants win the toss. Tamil Thalaivas to raid first.

7:20PM: LINE-UPS!!!

Tamil Thalaivas: Surjeet Singh (c), Mohit Jakhar, Sagar Rathee, Sahil Gulia, Manjeet, Bhavani Rajput, Athul MS

Gujarat Giants: Sunil Kumar (c), Rakesh Narwal, Mahendra Rajput, Parvesh Bhainswal, Rakesh HS, Soleiman, Ankit

7:15PM: Head-to-head stats - Matches played - 4, Matches won by Tamil Thalaivas - 2, Matches won by Gujarat Giants - 2

7:05PM:  Even Gujarat Giants are set to play tonight after a tie in their last match. They were leading at one point, then fell behind and finally managed to hold U Mumba to a low-scoring 24-24 tie. Apart from that, it's been three defeats and a single win against the bottom-placed Telugu Titans in last five encounters for the Giants. Gujarat's defenders Parvesh Bhainswal, Sunil Kumar and Girish Maruti Ernak need to put on a much better show and stop opponents from taking easy raid points.

6:55PM: Tamil Thalaivas come into this match after ANOTHER TIE. The Thalaivas have three wins, two defeats and five ties in the 10 matches they have played, the last of which came against Jaipur Pink Panthers in a fixture that finished at 31-31 on Sunday. Defenders Surjeet Singh and Sagar had nine tackle points in another impressive performance. However, they need to improve in the raiding department and for that, the likes of Ajinkya Pawar and Bhavani Rajput need to do better. A win (or a tie) would take the Thalaivas from seventh to fourth on the points table and coach Udayakumar's men, winless for two games, would look to do exactly that.

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 .

6:35PM: Another helpful reminder of the rules. If you need it!

6:30PM: Hello folks! Welcome to our live coverage of the first game of the evening between Tamil Thalaivas and Gujarat Giants. Before we get to that, here is our review of the season so far by my colleague Lavanya Lakshminarayanan -

PKL: Newcomers share limelight; teams risk burnout