The penultimate day of the Ranchi leg features two high-octane encounters. Patna Pirates host Tamil Thalaivas at the Harivansh Tana Bhagat Indoor Stadium in the second match of the evening, while U Mumba’s rescheduled home fixture against Gujarat Fortunegiants – which couldn’t be played due to incessant rainfall in Mumbai earlier in the season – starts the proceedings of the evening. Here’s how the teams stack up against each other.
Match 52 (Zone A): U Mumba vs Gujarat Fortunegiants
Head-to-head: U Mumba 0-2 Gujarat Fortunegiants
U Mumba are yet to defeat table-toppers Gujarat this season. Currently sitting fourth in Zone A with 39 points, Mumbai will enter tonight’s match seeking revenge. Kashiling Adake is playing exceptionally well with support pouring in from young Shrikant Jadhav in attack. Surinder Singh has been a revelation in defence with Captain Cool Anup Kumar holding both the departments together beautifully. Facing the most consistent team this season, Mumbai need to fire in every department to overcome the Gujarat hurdle.
Gujarat Fortunegiants stand tall in Zone A as the leaders with 51 points from 14 matches. Having defeated U Mumba in both their previous encounters, they have both confidence and form on their side. Sachin has been the main man for them, overshadowing captain Sukesh Hegde in attack. Fazel Atrachali and Abozar Mighani’s contribution adds to the team’s consistency this season. However, with the likes of Adake and Jadhav in the opposition camp, they can’t afford to be complacent.
Match 86 (Zone B): Patna Pirates vs Tamil Thalaivas
Head-to-head: Patna Pirates 1-0 Tamil Thalaivas
Patna Pirates displaced Bengal Warriors from the Zone B summit yesterday and are currently unbeaten at home. With 54 points from 15 games, the defending champions are in scintillating form. Pardeep Narwal is in a league of his own breaking defences at will, alongside Monu Goyat who has also been unstoppable. With an attack like this, the Vishal Mane-led defence hasn’t had much to do recently but need to better their game to be on a par with the attack.
Debutants Thalaivas, on the other hand, have had a disappointing start to their VIVO Pro Kabaddi campaign and sit last in Zone B with 21 points from 10 games. Ajay Thakur’s recent form has been the biggest asset for the southerners but Amit Hooda has looked a little inconsistent at the back, for which reason the defence has not been able to assert their dominance. With the indomitable Patna at the other end of the mat, the Thalaivas definitely have an uphill task to execute.
Catch the action live from Ranchi on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.