The first day of the Ranchi leg on Friday witnessed two blockbuster matches with home team Patna Pirates cruising past Telugu Titans and Gujarat Fortunegiants overcoming the U Mumba hurdle. The second day of the eighth leg of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 5 will feature two Zone B encounters with Rohit Kumar’s Bengaluru Bulls taking on Rahul Chaudhari’s Telugu Titans in the southern derby, and Pardeep Narwal’s Patna Pirates playing host to Nitin Tomar’s U.P. Yoddha. Here’s a look at how the teams stack up against each other.
Match 80 (Zone B): Bengaluru Bulls vs Telugu Titans
Head-to-head: Bengaluru Bulls 6-3 Telugu Titans (2 ties)
Bengaluru Bulls ended their six-game losing streak with a win against Puneri Paltan in their last match and will enter tonight’s match with new-found confidence. Sitting fifth in Zone B with a point less than rivals Telugu Titans, the Bulls will be looking to cash in on the Titans’ dilapidated situation emanating from the fact that their chances of a play-off berth have weakened greatly in recent times. Captain Rohit Kumar has been the team’s best performer this season and is the biggest threat for the Titans defence. Ravinder Pahal and Kuldeep Singh have to mirror their last match’s defensive performance to restrict Raid Machine Rahul Chaudhari.
The Titans, on the other hand, have been unable to defeat the Bulls this season and they will want to change that on Saturday. After a heavy defeat at the hands of Patna yesterday, the Titans’ dream of a play-off berth has taken a huge dent. In this situation, new captain Rohit Rana needs to ensure the spirit of his players does not weaken any more than it already has. Chaudhari looked more at ease yesterday, having been freed from the captaincy duties, and is the biggest threat to the Bulls. The defenders, however, needs to keep a check on themselves and commit fewer errors.
Match 81 (Zone B): Patna Pirates vs U.P. Yoddha
Head-to-head: One tie
The advantage of playing on home turf coupled with the spectacular form captain Pardeep Narwal is enjoying at the moment, Patna Pirates are the favourites to win tonight. Yesterday’s convincing win over Telugu Titans places them second in Zone B with 41 points from 12 matches. Pardeep has been an absolute beast breaking records at will, while Monu Goyat’s recent form has also been exceptional. Vishal Mane has led the defence well and there is no doubt U.P. Yoddha are in for a tough encounter.
Presently sitting a berth lower than Patna in Zone B with 37 points, U.P. Yoddha need to leave behind the single-point loss they succumbed to against Tamil Thalaivas. Nitin Tomar and Rishank Devadiga have been playing exceptionally well but it’s the defence that has been unsteady for the Lucknow outfit. With the defending champions lined up on Saturday, the Yoddha need to hold to their nerve in the last few minutes to ensure they don’t give away easy points or worse, the match.
Catch the action live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.