After four successful seasons of breathtaking action, vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 5 featured four new teams - Gujarat Fortunegiants, Haryana Steelers, Tamil Thalaivas and U.P. Yoddha. Even with the new teams adding to the excitement of the league, Pardeep Narwal and Patna Pirates maintained their dominance in Season 5, winning their third vivo PKL title on the trot.
With plenty of fireworks on the mat, here's a list of five of the most intriguing matches of vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 5.
In the first half, Jaipur Pink Panthers went all guns blazing to secure a massive 10-point lead against Dabang Delhi KC in Match 3 of Season 5. But as the second half unfolded, the Season 1 Champions were caught off guard by a winning comeback from the team from the capital.
Trailing 14-4, Dabang Delhi K.C. were led by skipper Meraj Sheykh, who joined forces with defender Nilesh Shinde to script a blockbuster second half. The duo scored 12 points among themselves to guide Dabang Delhi K.C. to a thumping victory that left the fans wanting more.
This fascinating encounter was highlighted by a Pardeep Narwal masterclass. The 'Dubki King' saved his best for the final five minutes of the game when Patna Pirates were trailing by 18-25.
What followed was a staggering display by the three-time vivo Pro Kabaddi champions.
Pardeep Narwal scored 9 points in that game, 6 of which came in the last five minutes. The encounter went down to the final minute where Patna Pirates were awarded a technical point to tie the scoreline at 27-27.
Rookie Vikash Kandola and an experienced Wazir Singh took apart a U Mumba defence that looked rusty in the first half of Match 5. But a different tale emerged in the later half.
Haryana Steelers were in the driving seat with the lead of 12-19 early in the second half before Kashiling Adake's brilliant 3-point super raid turned the tide. Kashiling and Anup Kumar amassed 13 points between themselves to lead U Mumba to a thrilling single-point win.
Maninder Singh turned up the heat in Chennai against his former side Jaipur Pink Panthers in Match 104 of vivo Pro kabaddi Season 5.
Jaipur Pink Panthers looked set to win with a 27-24 lead and only four minutes remaining on the clock. But Maninder Singh had other plans.
The raider bagged some crucial points in the dying minutes, including a bonus point in the buzzer raid, to take Bengal Warriors over the line. Maninder Singh scored 16 raid points in that high-voltage encounter.
One of the most nerve-racking encounters in vivo PKL Season 5 was played between two quality sides - Deepak Hooda’s Puneri Paltan and Nitin Tomar’s U.P. Yoddha.
Puneri Paltan found themselves on the verge of an early All-out in the first half with the score at 6-14. But they overcame that sluggish start, with a collective effort led by Deepak Hooda.
The scoreline favoured Puneri Paltan 39-38 in the final minute with U.P. Yoddha having the last raid. Puneri Paltan's defence, in turn, held their nerves and tackled Mahesh Goud in that crucial raid to seal the match. Deepak Hooda scored a splendid 'Super 10' in this Do-or-Die contest to take his side to the next round.