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Evenly matched teams get ready to compete- Bengal Warriors vs U Mumba
Bengal Warriors will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, PuneBet Now
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It is very rare to see such evenly-matched sides collide in the PKL. Both teams are quite contrasting in their team combination or strategies but their destinies are entwined.
Bengal Warriors are placed 5th in the points table after 7 games while U Mumba is placed below them. Both teams have 21 points each but the Warriors have a better score difference.
The Bengal Warriors surprised everyone when they beat the defending champions. It was an impressive win as left corner Girish Ernak and right cover Vaibhav Garje smashed all the Dabang hopes to secure victory for their team.
Similarly, U Mumba foxed the Fortune Giants to such an extent that simply crumbled under the pressure. Mumba raider Haiderali Ekrami was the surprise package as he decimated the Gujarat defense along with Ghuman Singh. It will be another nail-biter when both these teams clash in another important encounter at the PKL.
Bengal Warriors have a strong squad this season. But they have been a bit inconsistent on the mat. They have a spectrum of performances where they beat the unbeatable on one day and then look like amateurs. But in the last few games, they have done the unthinkable.
They beat the defending champions in a tactical manner. They shocked them with a sensational right cover-left corner combination. Dabang Delhi had no answer for this move. Left corner Girsh Ernak by far has been the best defender of the season.
He has conducted 28 successful tackles in 7 games which are monumental. This includes 3 Hi 5’s.
Raiders Maninder Singh has been at the forefront in scoring as he has earned 58 raid points in 7 games. But together with Shrikant Jadhav, they have conducted 6 Super raids between them.
This has helped the Bengal Warriors come back on track. They won consecutive games, lost a couple, and then came back in style to beat Dabang Delhi.
As a team, the Warriors have put in 76 successful team tackles and have also earned 139 team raid points.
They have inflicted 11 all-outs in their 7 games while conceding only 5.
Defense is their strength and the Warriors will have to play to their strengths as they take on a resurgent U Mumba. Maninder, Shrikant Jadhav, and Ajinkya Kapre have handled the raids quite well. The only concern for the Warriors is the form of Deepak Niwas Hooda who hasn’t fired at all this season.
The resurgence of U Mumba is one of the best things that has happened this season. A maverick side but full of characters, U Mumba has an extensive fan base. They will be expecting their team to build on the momentum that they possess now.
U Mumba have always been slow starters and season 9 wasn’t different. They were circumspect to begin as they were not sure about their combination and neither they were sure about their tactics. They started with a heavy raiding team, moved back to total defense but nothing worked. They follow the pendulum motion in terms of results, a win is followed by a loss, and vice versa.
But they beat the Gujarat Fortune Giants in their last game which was tactically one of the better matches U Mumba has played. Their surprise weapon was Iranian all-rounder Hyderali Ekrami who completely surprised the opposition with his moves. He earned a Super 10 along with Ghuman Singh who also earned a Super 10.
Left corner Mohit and captain Surinder were good to generate tackle points regularly. But the defense is still the biggest concern for Mumba. When their raiders score heavily, the mistakes of the defenders are camouflaged, but when the earnings dry they are exposed.
Hence Mumba needs to be careful when they take on the mighty Bengal Warriors who recently beat the defending champions. Interestingly U Mumba has always dominated the Warriors. It has won 11 out of its 16 encounters which are very impressive. U Mumba could not beat the Warriors even once in season 7 while in season 8, the Warriors could not beat Mumba. Hence this will be one of the fiercest battles of the PKL as two evenly-matched team clash.
Both teams look in great touch and are ready for another fierce contest. Bengal Warriors are much better placed as their raiding as well as their defense is sorted.
Maninder Singh has been consistent, though in one of the games he was trapped beautifully by the opposite team. But one can’t cage a giant like Mani too often. Girish Ernak and Vaibhav Garje will make life difficult for Ghuman, Ekrami, and Jai Bhagwan. Shrikant Jadhav and Ajikya Kapre will give good support to Maninder.
U Mumba will unleash Ekrami on the Bengal defense. He will target weak links like Shubham Shinde and D Balaji but that will be a difficult proposition. Ghuman will continue to earn well, he should earn a Super 10. Captain Surinder will have to lead the way for the defense which has not resonated well yet. Left corner Mohit will play a crucial role in the Mumba defense.
Expect a high-scoring, high-voltage game between 2 powerful teams.
Bengal Warriors will win.
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