A brief look at how the path to the Playoffs was carved out by the top three teams from Zone B.
Zone B saw some high-intensity action with the top spot and the final Playoffs spot still being up for grabs till the final day of the league stage of the campaign. Bengaluru Bulls, who were the first to qualify from the zone, eventually sealed the top spot with a win in their final match leaving Bengal Warriors in second spot. The battle for the final spot went down to the wire, with U.P. Yoddha securing the berth after winning the last league-stage encounter where they faced Bengal Warriors. We take an in-depth look at the three teams to qualify for the Playoffs from Zone B.
The first team to qualify for the Playoffs from Zone B, Bengaluru Bulls have been particularly strong in the raiding department, marshalling their raiding trio of captain Rohit Kumar, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat and Kashiling Adake well all through the league stage of the season. Having been at the helm of the Zone B standings for most of the season, Bengaluru Bulls had to wait till their last match to ensure that they finished top and booked their place in Qualifier 1 against Gujarat Fortunegiants in the Playoffs. They have the highest scoring raider from the league stages in their ranks in Pawan Kumar Sehrawat.
While Bengaluru Bulls lost seven games, they have succumbed to back-to-back defeats only once this season. Even though they couldn’t win all of their Inter-Zone fixtures, they made sure to get at least a point out of each of them to make qualification to the Playoffs easier. In fact, Bengaluru Bulls have returned at least a point out of all their fixtures this campaign by taking their games down to the wire and ensuring that the margins of all their defeats were minimal.
Their best performance of the season so far came in Match 117 where they managed a 16-point victory over Telugu Titans in the Southern Derby. The team’s best individual performance of the season came in their opening fixture of the season when Pawan Kumar Sehrawat returned with 20 raid points from just 15 raid attempts against Tamil Thalaivas.
Average Points Scored: 36.73
Average Points Conceded: 32
Best Raider: Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
Best Defender: Mahender Singh
Having topped Zone B last season, Bengal Warriors had to settle for a second-place finish in Season 6 after taking the fight for the top spot down to the final day of the league stage. Boasting of a strong offence, Bengal Warriors’ raiders have been in good form all throughout the season, organizing themselves brilliantly over their campaign. They started the season on a high, getting maximum points out of their first two contests.
While Bengal Warriors lost eight games this season, they lost to only two teams in their zone. They played some excellent kabaddi in the second half of their campaign, winning eight of their last twelve matches.
They managed a season sweep over Zone B toppers Bengaluru Bulls but their best performance of the season came in Match 125, when they beat reigning champions Patna Pirates by a scoreline of 39-23. Their best individual performance of the season came in Match 88 against Bengaluru Bulls, when Maninder Singh managed a career-high 17 raid points.
Average Points Scored: 31.14
Average Points Conceded: 31.59
Best Raider: Maninder Singh
Best Defender: PO Surjeet Singh
U.P. Yoddha were the final team to qualify for the Playoffs and they got there in dramatic fashion by finishing the league stage with a six-match unbeaten run. They boast of a proficient raiding trio of captain Rishank Devadiga, Prashanth Kumar Rai and Shrikant Jadhav and their defence has also been sensational throughout their campaign which is led by Right Corner Nitesh Kumar who has scored a league-high 83 tackle points so far.
U.P. Yoddha came back strongly after their home leg to qualify for the Playoffs on the back of a strong team effort. Their varied offence provides them with ample firepower as showcased by left raiders Prashanth Kumar Rai and Shrikant Jadhav who have both amassed over 120 raid points each in this campaign.
They have two victories by a margin of 16-points to their name, the most recent one being against Bengal Warriors in Match 132 that confirmed their place in the Playoffs. They will head into the Playoffs on the back of some strong winning momentum and with their well-versed roster, U.P. Yoddha are capable of beating any team that comes up against them.
Average Points Scored: 31.91
Average Points Conceded: 33.95
Best Raider: Shrikant Jadhav
Best Defender: Nitesh Kumar