Day 2 of the Kolkata leg will witness Zone A leaders Gujarat Fortunegiants battle it out with Haryana Steelers and hosts Bengal Warriors face U.P. Yoddha in a Zone B encounter at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium on Saturday. Hosts Bengal will be looking to build on their win against Patna on the opening day of their home leg, while Lucknow will be raring to get onto the mat after their last match was abandoned in Mumbai due to incessant rains. Gujarat too had their last match abandoned, so like Lucknow they will be looking to get back in the thick of things against a Haryana side that is eyeing a return to winning ways.
Match 57 (Zone A): Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Haryana Steelers
Head-to-Head: Gujarat Fortunegiants 0-1 Haryana Steelers. 1 draw
Gujarat will be expected to pick up another win on the back of their performance over the past month, which has made them one of the favourites to lift the VIVO Pro Kabaddi title. The Fortunegiants – unlike the rest of the hosts so far – had a good home leg and are on course for a spot in the qualifiers. A well-oiled machine, both their defence and attack are firing on all cylinders with a chink in their armour yet to be discovered by the rest of the teams.
Haryana, however, will be looking to bounce back after a loss to U Mumba in their previous game. Even though it was only their second loss of the season, it raised several questions around their defence, which will need to be addressed before facing Gujarat’s formidable attack. Skipper Surender Nada will have to maximize his time on the mat and marshal his defence, while Vikas Kandola will have to deliver in attack if Haryana are to pull off an upset.
Match 58 (Zone B): Bengal Warriors vs U.P. Yoddha
Head-to-Head: Bengal Warriors 2-0 U.P. Yoddha
Meanwhile, Bengal Warriors will be high on confidence after beating defending champions Patna in the Kolkata leg curtain-raiser on Friday. Top of their zone heading into the match, Bengal will be looking to keep it that way with another win against second-placed Lucknow, who can go top if Bengal fail to win or tie the encounter. Maninder Singh, who was in scintillating form against Patna, will be hoping for another Super 10-performance. However, their star defenders captain Surjeet Singh and Ran Singh need to have a better outing than they did against the Pirates.
U.P. Yoddha, on the other hand, will be playing their first match since the conclusion of their home leg as their only scheduled match during the Mumbai leg was abandoned due to heavy rains. They will be well rested and should look to capitalize with a victory against a Bengal side, whose defence hasn’t always covered itself in glory this season. Captain Nitin Tomar and star raider Rishank Devadiga will be entrusted with leading their attack, while all-rounder Rajesh Narwal needs to put in a much-improved performance after what’s been a lacklustre season for him so far.
Catch both the matches live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 7.30 pm onwards.