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PKL: Patna Pirates take on UP Yoddha, Bengaluru Bulls battle Dabang Delhi

League-toppers Patna Pirates will lock horns with UP Yoddha while Dabang Delhi face Bengaluru Bulls in the semifinal matches of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8

Patna Pirates Bengaluru Bulls PKL Kabaddi

Photo: Twitter/@ProKabaddi

Press Trust of India Bengaluru
League-toppers Patna Pirates will lock horns with UP Yoddha while Dabang Delhi face Bengaluru Bulls in the semifinal matches of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 here on Wednesday.
Patna dominated the league stages through collective effort with an impressive performance in defence. But they will be facing a familiar foe in UP Yoddha's Pardeep Narwal, who won three titles with the Patna team.
Season 7 runners-up Delhi will be hoping to make it two finals in a row but a tough challenge awaits them in the from the Bulls. The Bengaluru-based side have shown that they are way more than Pawan Sehrawat in the recent outings with the secondary raiders Bharat and Chandran Ranjit finding form.
The winners of both the matches will face each other in the grand finale on Friday.
All eyes will be on 'record breaker' Pardeep Narwal in the first semifinal. The star raider has looked in good shape in the recent matches, turning cagey battles into one-sided affairs with his massive multi-point raids. He will no doubt be Yoddha's major trump card against Patna.
The Patna side got a direct slot in the semifinals after topping the league stages. They are a team in form and have a dangerous defence led by Iranian Mohammadreza Shadloui.
The match could most likely be decided by how well Patna handle Pardeep's raids. The left raider won't have a direct confrontation with Shadloui but the likes of Neeraj Kumar and Sajin C must be wary of jumping into early tackles.
Pune paid the price for their eagerness by conceding a 5-point Super Raid against Pardeep which turned the game around in the first eliminator match of the playoffs.
Surender Gill has been a great deputy in attack for Yoddha while their famous corner combination of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar is also looking lethal.
It will be interesting how Patna shapes up in the attack. Sachin should be a favourite considering his rich form. But coach Ram Mehar Singh might opt for the experienced Monu Goyat instead of the impressive Guman Singh to be the second option in attack. Both teams won one match each when they met in the league stages.
The second semifinal between Delhi and Bengaluru will not only be about two of the best raiders in the country -- Naveen Kumar and Pawan Sehrawat. In Naveen's absence, Delhi's seasoned stars realised their full potential with the likes of Manjeet Chhillar and Sandeep Narwal showing their mettle.
Similarly, Bengaluru's defence and secondary raiders have risen to the challenge in their recent outings easing the pressure off Pawan's shoulders.
The outstanding raiders will again be required to inflict maximum damage on the opponents. Naveen's fitness will be a key concern but Delhi earned extra rest days as they secured a direct spot in the semifinals by finishing second in the league stages.
In Chandran Ranjit and Vijay, the Bulls have a potent raiding unit to support 'high flyer' Pawan Sehrawat. Their corner duo of Sourabh Nandal and Aman has also been in good form which has allowed cover defender Mahender to be more expressive.
Dabang's biggest strength is their experience. Manjeet Chhillar, Joginder Narwal, Sandeep Narwal are all seasoned stars who have been through multiple finals in their career. They will know how to perfectly navigate the challenge.
In Vijay, they also have a stellar all-rounder to give Naveen the backup he wants.
When the two teams met in the league phase, the Bulls won one match while the other was a tied affair.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 22 2022 | 4:11 PM IST

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