Two riveting games are in the pipeline for Sunday’s doubleheader in vivo Pro Kabaddi.

First, Surjeet Singh and the Tamil Thalaivas will take on Arjun Deshwal and the Jaipur Pink Panthers. Later, it’s the battle for the top spot in the standings, as league-leaders Bengaluru Bulls go head-to-head against third-placed Patna Pirates.

Check out our preview for both matches:

Match 58: Tamil Thalaivas vs Jaipur Pink Panthers

The Tamil Thalaivas slipped to a 37-28 loss in their last match, ending their six-game unbeaten run. Even in defeat, Surjeet Singh was spectacular and finished the game with a High 5. Sagar also had a decent outing, scoring three tackle points. The Thalaivas’ defensive duo, who rank in the top three tackle point scorers this season, has been consistent throughout the season, unlike their raiding unit which has been hot and cold. The Thalaivas have the second-fewest raid points this season, which is why they are seventh on the table despite having the joint fewest defeats. If Manjeet, Athul MS and Ajinkya Pawar do not provide the necessary impetus on offence, the Thalaivas might struggle to go far despite boasting a dominant defence.

Jaipur Pink Panthers’ terrific turnaround in form continued as they beat the Patna Pirates 38-28 in their last game. Veteran all-rounder Deepak Hooda was stellar and finished the game with 10 points, while Arjun Deshwal continued to be a consistent source of points for his side, scoring nine. Sahul Kumar had another great game, as he racked up four tackle points. The Pink Panthers seem to have found the right personnel, which has helped them flip their fortunes. Coach Sanjeev Baliyan’s men have won three games in a row and are currently fifth on the table and have played a game fewer than three of the four teams above them in the standings. Nothing less than a victory will suffice for the Pink Panthers on Sunday.

Tamil Thalaivas vs Jaipur Pink Panthers head-to-head

Jaipur Pink Panthers have won three and lost one of their four games against the Tamil Thalaivas.

Match 59: Patna Pirates vs Bengaluru Bulls

In their previous outing, the Patna Pirates succumbed to a 38-28 defeat against the Jaipur Pink Panthers. Their raiding unit had a decent outing as they scored 19 points for their side. But it was the defence that looked completely out of sorts against the Pink Panthers. The Pirates’ usually sturdy defensive unit scored just four tackle points while giving up 20 raid points. Coach Ram Mehar Singh will see the game as an anomaly but knows his team cannot repeat this defensive display against the raging Bengaluru Bulls on Sunday.

Since losing to U.P. Yoddha, the Bulls have been on a rampage. They have scored 107 points in two games while giving up just 59. Pawan Sehrawat has been on a mission since his rough outing against U.P. and has scored 46 points in his last two games, which has seen him leapfrog Naveen Kumar and become the league’s leading points scorers. The Bengaluru skipper has been supported well on offence by youngster Bharat, who has scored 16 points in his last two outings. If the Bulls get going early in the game, they plough through opponents. Bengaluru hold a four-point lead over Patna in the standings but have played a game more. They need a win over the Pirates to solidify their status as the league leaders.

Patna Pirates vs Bengaluru Bulls head-to-head

Patna Pirates have enjoyed plenty of success against the Bengaluru Bulls. In 17 matches, Patna have emerged victorious on ten occasions while Bengaluru have won five games. Two games between them have finished in a tie.

PKL Schedule for Sunday, January 16

Match 58: Tamil Thalaivas vs Jaipur Pink Panthers, 7:30 PM IST

Match 59: Patna Pirates vs Bengaluru Bulls, 8:30 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.