The weekend is upon us, but there’s business to tend to for the four teams in action in vivo Pro Kabaddi on Friday.
Reigning champions Bengal Warriors and Haryana Steelers will commence proceedings, and later Jaipur Pink Panthers will take on the Puneri Paltan.
Check out our preview for both matches:
Match 38: Bengal Warriors vs. Haryana Steelers
In their previous outing, the Bengal Warriors snapped their three-game losing streak with a 31-28 win over the Jaipur Pink Panthers. Mohammad Nabibakhsh and Maninder Singh combined to score 23 of the Warriors’ 31 points on the night, showcasing just how crucial they are to their team’s success. Bengal conceded 44 points on average during their three-game slump. Holding the Pink Panthers to 28 would’ve been a welcome sight for coach BC Ramesh. If the Warriors defence remains disciplined and avoids leaking too many points, they have the firepower on offence to beat any team on any given day.
The Haryana Steelers had a horror start, losing three out of their first four games. But coach Rakesh Kumar’s side has seemingly found their footing and is unbeaten in their last two games. The Steelers’ raiding trio of Vikash Kandola, Meetu and Rohit Gulia has been potent this season, making timely contributions when called upon. The Steelers’ defence was spectacular in their last game against U Mumba and coach Rakesh would want the unit to replicate that against the Bengal Warriors.
The Bengal Warriors have played four games against the Haryana Steelers and have won just one, losing three.
Match 39: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs. Puneri Paltan
On Thursday, the Jaipur Pink Panthers succumbed to their third straight loss and slipped to 10th on the vivo PKL points table. Jaipur trailed by as many as 15 but managed to outscore the Bengaluru Bulls by eight points in the game’s final seven minutes to rescue a point. Coach Sanjeev Baliyan will point to that last stretch of the game to remind his side what they are capable of. Raider Arjun Deshwal has been the lynchpin for the Pink Panthers. The young star recorded his sixth straight Super 10 and will want to make it seven in a row on Friday and end his team’s slump.
The Puneri Paltan registered their second win of the season in their previous outing, beating the Gujarat Giants 33-26. After running through an army of raiders, coach Anup Kumar may have finally found the best combination for his side. Youngsters Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar combined for 18 points and were critical contributors to the Paltan’s win. The youngsters will be itching to hit the mat again and build on their incredible performance from the previous outing.
Jaipur Pink Panthers vs. Puneri Paltan head-to-head
Through 16 matches, the Pink Panthers hold a 9-5 lead over Puneri Paltan in their head-to-head clashes. Two games between the teams finished in a tie.
Match 38: Bengal Warriors vs. Haryana Steelers, 7:30 PM IST
Match 39: Jaipur Pink Panthers vs. Puneri Paltan, 8:30 PM IST
Catch all the LIVE action from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 on the Star Sports Network and LIVE streaming on Disney+Hotstar.