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PKL: Patna Pirates take on UP Yoddha while Bengaluru Bulls battle Dabang Delhi in semis

ANI | Updated: Feb 22, 2022 17:58 IST


Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 22 (ANI): League-toppers Patna Pirates will lock horns with UP Yoddha on Wednesday for a place in the final of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.
Patna dominated the league stages through collective, team performances led by their insatiable defence. But they will be facing a familiar foe in U.P. Yoddha's Pardeep Narwal. The "record breaker" won three titles with the Patna team but will turn arch-nemesis for the first semifinal of the night.
The encounter will be followed by Dabang Delhi K.C.'s showdown against Bengaluru Bulls. The season 7 runners-up will be hoping to make it two finals in a row but a tough challenge awaits them in the from the Bulls.
Bengaluru 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 final on Friday.
In the first semi-final of the night, all eyes will be on "record breaker" Pardeep Narwal when he faces his old team Patna Pirates. 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 Pirates 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 handled 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 1 match each when they met in the league stages.
The second semi-final of the night 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 by securing a direct spot in the semis by finishing second in the league stages.
Both Naveen and Pawan are known for their outstanding performances in pressure situations. But their time away from the mat will be limited with others helping them. 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. The Bulls won 1 and tied the other when the teams met in the league phase. (ANI)

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