It was the most important night in the Pro Kabaddi League season 8 so far, as five of the six teams contesting were fighting for a playoff berth.
In their last game of the season, UP Yoddha became the second team to officially qualify for the playoff stage as they beat U Mumba by a comfortable margin in the end. The game started off with a super raid by Pardeep Narwal. It seemed that the stalwart would continue with his good form, but he couldn’t capitalise on the good start he got as he managed only six raid points on the day.
Surinder Gill scored eight raid points. The star for the Yoddhas’ was their defence as all of their defenders got into their own act and scored crucial tackle points. Ashu, Subham and Sumit all got three tackle points each.
For Mumba, it was an important game. Had they won this game, they would still have been in contention for a playoff spot, but they are now out of the league.
No one really turned up for Mumba on the night as their leader Abhishek Singh could only manage four raid points, whereas V Ajith registered only five raid points. Rinku scored a High 5, but it wasn’t enough as he didn’t get the support from any other defenders.
Haryana Steelers had a clear goal in front of them. They would have qualified for the playoffs if they had beat Bengaluru Bulls, who themselves needed a victory at any coast. However, even after the win, BB are not sure of a playoff spot, as the Steelers, Jaipur Pink Panthers, Gujarat Giants and Puneri Paltan could still surpass them on the points table.
But for the time being, the Bulls victory was led by their captain, Pawan Sherawat, who scored 20 points. He became the first player in the history of the tournament to score a High 5 and a Super 10 in the same match. The Steelers were no match to his performance as they only managed 24 points.
The Bulls have now played all their games and have 66 points, while the Steelers are still in the fray for the playoffs as they have 63 points from 21 games.
Dabang Delhi just needed a tie to officially become the third team to qualify for the playoffs, but they eventually came on top against Patna Pirates by 26-23 in what was a closely fought contest. The Pirates are already guaranteed a spot in semifinal 1, so they didn’t play their regular players.
They tested their bench strength, and the likes of Mohit, Sourav Gulia, Daniel and Subham Shinde got an opportunity. The latter got the full game, and he utilised the opportunity with full hands as he scored a High 5. Gulia, in turn, got four tackle points.
Manjeet Chillar scored a high 5 for DDKC, while Naveen Kumar was again substituted out to manage his workload.
The win means that the Delhi side now has 70 points. In all likelihood, they are going to play the semifinal 2. At the same time, this result has no ramifications on the Pirates.