Day 2 of the Pune leg will witness Tamil Thalaivas go up against Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan take on U Mumba at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex on Saturday. For Chennai it will be their last game of the season and they will be looking to end their campaign on a high against a Patna side, who will be desperate for a win themselves. The second match of the night will see hosts Pune look for their first win at home against U Mumba – who will also be playing their last match – in the Maharashtra derby.
Match 124 (Zone B): Tamil Thalaivas vs Patna Pirates
Head-to-head: Tamil Thalaivas 0-2 Patna Pirates
Tamil Thalaivas will be looking to bring the curtain down on their season with a victory against defending champions Patna after a disappointing campaign that saw numerous close matches slip out of their hands. Chennai managed a few thrilling last-gasp wins but their over-reliance on skipper Ajay Thakur, who has been sensational for them, has undermined their collective effort. The southerners will be hoping to give their passionate fans something to cheer in their last match and one can rest assured that Thakur and his comrades will want to finish with a flourish.
Patna, however, have no time for emotional sentiment as they try to keep up with zone leaders Bengal Warriors. A loss for the reigning champions will ensure Bengal finish at the top of Zone B and the Pirates will do everything in their power to prevent that from happening. Star raiders Pardeep Narwal and Monu Goyat will need to produce the goods after lacklustre showings in the last few outings. Their defence, which has been under the scanner all season, will also need to be switched on from the get-go.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
The Chennai skipper has been stunning in offence for the Season 5 debutants this year. He is second on the leaderboard for raid points (199) and has 11 Super 10s to his name.
Dubki King Pardeep Narwal will be itching to get back on the mat, following a couple of quiet displays. He is the leading raider in Season 5 with 247 points and has more Super 10s (14) than any other player.
Match 125 (Zone A): Puneri Paltan vs U Mumba
Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 3-7 U Mumba
Pune, meanwhile, will be looking to put the memories of their crushing loss against Gujarat yesterday to rest with another win against Mumbai this season. The Punekars have been dominant against their Maharashtra counterparts in this edition – winning two from two – and will look at the match as an opportunity to jump-start their home leg after a humbling at the hands of Gujarat. Deepak Hooda and Rajesh Mondal, who was on the bench against Gujarat, must both start the match, while Sandeep Narwal and Girish Maruti Ernak have to take responsibility in defence.
Mumbai, on the other hand, will not make it easy for Pune with bragging rights up for grabs. Even though they’re out of contention for a playoffs berth, Mumbai will want to rain on Pune’s parade by dampening their table-topper hopes in Zone A. Given their decision to rest several senior players last time around, one can expect much of the same as far as the starting 7 is concerned. However, an Anup Kumar appearance to guide a youthful team over the line against Pune is also very much a possibility.
Khel Kabaddi Khiladi:
Rajesh Mondal will have an important role to play on Saturday. A do-or-die raid specialist, he has notched up 31 points in such situations and can be a constant threat while raiding.
One of U Mumba’s best players this season, Shrikant Jadhav has not looked out of place while rubbing shoulders on the mat with several household names. He has managed a total of 80 raid points and 12 tackle points.
Catch the action live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.