It’s the penultimate day of the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 league stage and there’s still plenty at stake. Five teams remain in the hunt for one of the three available playoff spots and two of them are in action tonight.
In tonight’s triple-header, Puneri Paltan will face Bengal Warriors, and in the second game, Telugu Titans will take on Dabang Delhi K.C. In the main event, Tamil Thalaivas will battle Gujarat Giants.
Check out our preview for both games:
Match 127: Puneri Paltan vs Bengal Warriors
The Puneri Paltan’s 12-point victory over the Tamil Thalaivas in their previous outing has put them in prime position to qualify for the playoffs. The Paltan are seventh, three points behind fifth-placed Haryana Steelers. A win tonight, which would be their eighth in 10 matches, will see them finish the night fifth on the points table. Pune’s scarcely believable turnaround is in its home stretch and they wouldn’t want to slip up right at the end.
The Bengal Warriors snapped their miserable six-game winless streak with a massive 31-point win over the Tamil Thalaivas. Maninder Singh and Mohammad Nabibakhsh registered Super 10s, while Abozar Mighani and Ran Singh combined for 10 tackle points. The victory would be a bittersweet one for coach BC Ramesh, as this performance was indicative of his team’s real ability, which they couldn’t showcase the entire season. The outgoing champions will want to cap the season off with another big win before they hit the drawing board in the coming months.
Puneri Paltan vs Bengal Warriors head-to-head
The Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors’ head-to-head series is tied at 7-7. One game between the two sides has finished in a tie. The first meeting between the two sides finished in a 39-27 win for Paltan.
Match 128: Telugu Titans vs Dabang Delhi
The Telugu Titans were on the receiving end of a 54-35 trouncing at the hands of the Jaipur Pink Panthers in their previous outing. The Titans have had a torrid campaign, with injuries to key players and close losses keeping them rooted to the bottom of the points table. They have one game to avoid becoming only the second team in PKL history to finish a campaign with only one win. Ironically, it is Dabang Delhi who hold the unfortunate record. The team from the capital finished with only one win in Season 3.
Speaking of Delhi, they booked their playoff berth with a gritty 26-23 win over the Patna Pirates last night. Naveen Kumar had to be subbed out as his knee injury continued to bother him. In his absence, Vijay stepped up to win the game for his side. Delhi need only one point to book their berth in the second semifinal and avoid playing in an eliminator. They will want to give their fringe players an opportunity to play but not at the risk of losing their grip on second spot.
Telugu Titans vs Dabang Delhi head-to-head
Telugu Titans hold an 8-4 lead in their head-to-head series against Dabang Delhi K.C. One game between the two teams has finished in a tie. Delhi narrowly edged out the Titans in the teams’ first meeting this season.
Match 129: Tamil Thalaivas vs Gujarat Giants
The Tamil Thalaivas' capitulation continued, as they succumbed to one of the heaviest defeats in franchise history in their previous outing. Their 53-21 mauling was their sixth defeat on the trot and saw them slip to 11th on the points table. The Thalaivas have finished in the bottom two on the points table in every season since their entry in vivo PKL. They will likely field a much changed starting seven against the Giants featuring some of their fringe players, as they look towards the future.
Two wins and a tie in their last three matches have seen Gujarat Giants give themselves a great opportunity of qualifying for the playoffs. They are eighth on the points table and are trailing sixth-placed Jaipur Pink Panthers by five points. Jaipur’s significant point difference means the Giants will not only have to beat the Thalaivas, but they will also have to do so by a huge margin - 33 to be precise - to finish the night in the top six. The Giants need two wins in their final two games to ensure they qualify for the playoffs without having to depend on results elsewhere.
Tamil Thalaivas vs Gujarat Giants head-to-head
The Gujarat Giants have won three and lost two of their five matches against the Tamil Thalaivas. The first meeting between the two sides this season finished in a 37-35 win for the Giants.
PKL Schedule for Friday, February 18
Match 127: Puneri Paltan vs Bengal Warriors, 7:30 PM IST
Match 128: Telugu Titans vs Dabang Delhi, 8:30 PM IST
Match 129: Tamil Thalaivas vs Gujarat Giants, 9:30 PM IST
Where to watch vivo Pro Kabaddi live?
Catch all the LIVE action from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 on the Star Sports Network and LIVE streaming on Disney+Hotstar.