The curtain comes down at The Arena in Ahmedabad on Thursday as the VIVO Pro Kabaddi venue prepares itself to host the last two matches of its share this season. The Inter Zone Challenge Week is in full swing and will pitch four teams from opposite zones against each other before the VIVO Pro Kabaddi bandwagon travels to Lucknow. Here’s a look at tonight’s encounters.
Match 32: Dabang Delhi K.C. vs Tamil Thalaivas
Dabang Delhi K.C. started the season with a win but have not been able to emulate the same result in their next four games, having lost each one of them. With 8 points from 5 matches, they sit fifth in the Zone A points table and are desperate to get their winning chops back. Captain Meraj Sheykh has been inconsistent and even though youngsters have come forward to aid the team regularly, Sheykh remains the game-changer, and he has to up his game. Nilesh Shinde, the defensive stalwart, has had a satisfactory season so far but lack of support from fellow defenders has taken a lot of shine off his performances. Both Sheykh and Shinde will look to brake Delhi’s dwindling fortunes.
Meanwhile, after two losses, the Tamil Thalaivas camp has managed to remain undefeated in their last two games (1 win & 1 tie) and is showing signs of getting over their initial obstacles. They, however, at present, languish at the bottom of the Zone B points table with 10 points from 4 matches. Captain Ajay Thakur’s form remains one of the major concerns for the Thalaivas as he yet again failed to fire against Haryana Steelers on Wednesday. Nevertheless, raider K. Prapanjan has been steady for the team with the defence somewhat coming together under Amit Hooda, who has hit stable form recently. Be that as it may, the Thalaivas will fancy themselves against a Delhi team terribly short of confidence.
Match 33: Gujarat Fortunegiants vs Bengal Warriors
Gujarat Fortunegiants is in full ‘garjega’ mode at present, having picked up five straight wins at home. Comfortably perched atop the Zone A points table with 33 points from 8 matches, coach Manpreet Singh’s men are in prime form, both in the raiding and defence departments. Sachin has been a complete revelation for Gujarat and one of the chief architects of the team’s glorious home run. The defence unit can safely be labelled as the best in the league. As Gujarat are playing their last match at home, they will look to the end the leg with a 100% win record.
Bengal Warriors, on the other hand, are coming into the match after back-to-back defeats. They sit fifth in the Zone B points table with 11 points from 4 games. Their season started off brilliantly with the attacking department showing its true potential under Maninder Singh and Jang Kun Lee but recently the opponents’ strategy to keep these two star raiders off the mat has worked. The defensive unit under captain Surjeet Singh and the mighty Ran Singh needs to ensure the raiders are revived quickly into the match so that the pressure stays on the opposition. The Bengal unit will have to unleash their inner tigers to win tonight against a mighty opponent.
Catch the matches live on the Star Sports network and hotstar from 8 pm IST onwards.