Thursday marks the last day of VIVO Pro Kabaddi action at Ranchi’s Harivansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium. Hosting the league for the first time ever, the city has been extremely lucky for their home team Patna Pirates, who have been unbeaten at home so far with four wins and one tie. On Thursday, they square up against U.P. Yoddha with the aim to gift their fans a fitting farewell. The other match of the day pitches Jaipur Pink Panthers against neighbours Haryana Steelers. Here’s the lowdown on tonight’s matches.
Match 87 (Zone A): Jaipur Pink Panthers vs Haryana Steelers
Head-to-head: 1 tie
After Manjeet Chhillar’s return from injury, Jaipur have got a spring in their steps. Currently sitting fifth in Zone A with 36 points, a win tonight will see them rising above U Mumba to fourth. After securing a tie against Haryana at Sonepat, they will be going for the kill tonight with their raiding duo Nitin Rawal and Pawan Kumar in good form. Manjeet’s presence in defence is enough to rattle any team’s attack and he would be looking to give the Haryana raiders a tough time.
A win for Haryana Steelers, meanwhile, shall narrow the gap at the top of Zone A where they trail Gujarat Fortgunegiants by seven points. They have missed both Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar, one of the best corner combinations in the league, in their last two outings and fans would want them to feature against the Panthers. Deepak Kumar Dahiya and Surjeet Singh have held the flag up in attack but the lack of experience in the young defensive unit has cost them points at the death. They will want to fix that.
Match 88 (Zone B): Patna Pirates vs U.P. Yoddha
Head-to-head: Patna Pirates 1-0 U.P. Yoddha (1 tie)
The kind of form Zone B toppers Patna Pirates are enjoying at the moment is quite unbelievable. With 59 points in their bag, the defending champions have been unbeaten at home so far this season. True that Pardeep Narwal’s performance has been on a different plane altogether but Monu Goyat has been no less impressive either. The defence, however, is still an area of worry but despite that the team is expected to finish with a flourish.
On the other hand, sitting third in Zone B with 38 points, the Yoddha have failed to secure a win in their last four encounters. Nitin Tomar and Rishank Devadiga have been in good attacking form. The defence, however, has not been up to the mark with Rajesh Narwal and Jeeva Kumar failing to deliver the goods consistently. Facing arguably the most lethal attack in the league, the Yoddha need to pull their socks up to ensure they get back to winning ways.
Catch the action live from Ranchi on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.