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The league stage ends with an Eastern derby!!
Patna Pirates will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad.Bet Now
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Former champions were out of sorts throughout the season. Patna Pirates in particular looked drained from their very first match. After losing their first 5 matches, they managed to recover but could not garner enough to win matches regularly. Even the antics of defender Mohammedreza could not resurrect them.
The Bengal Warriors were overtly dependent on Maninder Singh and Girish Ernak. Both players performed beyond expectations but other team members could not support their cause. Bengal could not win any of their last 5 matches which were enough to knock them out of the tournament.
As both teams are out of the next round, they will enter the arena to entertain their fans. Both teams have a dedicated following as they will be expected to display some exciting moves along with animated tackles.
Former champions could not set the mat on fire this season. They were extremely dodgy early in the tournament which kept them in consolidation mode rather than the winning one. They looked fatigued and totally dependent on a couple of players. After losing the first 5 matches of the season, they bounced back by beating the defending champions. But the Pirates could not sustain the momentum.
The return of left corner Mohammedreza added a lot of spice to the Pirate's defense. In one of the matches, Mohammedreza scored 16 tackle points, the highest by any raider in the PKL. Still, the Pirates lost that match. Mohammedreza has always been lethal and effective. The all-rounder also earned a couple of raid points in the last match which was quite surprising. Mohammedreza earned 77 tackle points from the 19 matches he was involved in. But everybody was happy to see the Iranian celebrate with his somersault.
Raider Sachin Tanwar was consistent though not lethal. He has earned 176 raid points in 20 matches which include 8 Super 10’s. Sachin has also earned 67 Do-or-Die raid points this season as the Pirates followed the empty raid strategy throughout the season. Unfortunately, it did not yield any results for the Pirates. The major concern of the Pirates is the lack of a second and third raider. They are heavily dependent on Sachin which gets them in trouble once in a while.
All-rounder Rohit Gulia was their savior as he earned 148 raid points in 19 games. But the Pirates could not dominate their opponents as they could win only 7 out of their 21 matches. The Pirates looked out of sorts in their last 5 matches which they could not win.
The Pirates conceded 33 all-outs in 21 matches while conceding 743 team points.
Their success rate in team tackles was just about 35%.
But they earned 103 Do-or-Die raid team points which are the highest by any team.
The 3-time champions will take on the Bengal Warriors in their last league match. They will play for pride as well as their fans who will expect them to leave the season with a victory.
The Bengal Warriors lazed through the season without rectifying the issues. They were always low on intensity though they had some of the best players on the circuit. They forgot the basic concept that kabaddi was a team game. The Warriors were totally dependent on Captain Maninder and defender Girish Ernak. Both set the mat on fire but could not get enough support from their teammates.
Maninder Singh earned 238 raid points from 180 successful raids. He scored 14 Super 10’s along with 11 Super raids in 21 matches. This is the highest by any raider.
Left corner Girish Ernak was lethal as usual with 50 successful tackles in 18 matches. He could not play too many games at the end of the season and was replaced by Surender Nada.
Then what was the reason for their constant struggle? It was the lack of intensity and occasional breakdown of their defense. Raiders Shrikant Jadhav and all-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda put in the hard yards. Shrikant Jadhav too executed 6 Super raids in the season but it was not enough to help his team.
Defenders like Vaibhav Garje, Shubham Shinde, and all-rounder Balaji were quite inconsistent. Also, the Warriors started quite slowly in the first half and then desperately tried to recover in the second half. This was a regular feature. They faltered similarly against the Tamil Thalaiva in a game that ended in a TIE.
The Bengal Warriors conceded 767 team points in 21 matches.
They inflicted 29 all-out in the season and conceded 21. This neutralized all their efforts.
They lost 4 consecutive matches and forced a TIE in their last match with Dabang Delhi. This was a match they should have won which could have knocked out Dabang from the playoff. Bengal Warriors were leading by 6 points by halftime, but they conceded 2 all-outs in the second half which allowed the Dabang to stage a comeback and force a TIE.
The Warriors will play their last league game against arch-rivals Patna Pirates. With both teams out of contention for the next round, this will be entertainment as usual for their fans.
The Eastern derby will mark the end of the league stage in season 9. Both teams will enter the arena to entertain the crowds for the last time. Patna Pirates have always dominated the Warriors in the PKL but that won’t matter anymore.
The Bengal Warriors will allow their reserves to start the game. Players like Suyog Gaikar and Aslam Thambi may get a chance. All-rounders Manoj Gowda and Ashish Sangwan will display their skills in the first half. But the Warriors will go back to their regular player's post-half-time.
Similarly, the Pirates may start with youngsters like Ranjit Naik and Anuj Kumar. All-rounder Sagar Kumar and Kenyan Daniel Odhiambo too may get some mat time. But Mohammedreza will be at his best in entertaining the fans. He will be animated and will celebrate with his trademark somersaults. Both teams will play for pride as they bid adieu to season 9.
Patna Pirates will win.
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