IIPKL Bengaluru Leg Preview: Countdown to the final begins
Bengaluru: Parle G Indo International Premier Kabaddi League (IIPKL) reaches Bengaluru for its final leg after two successful legs in Pune and Mysore respectively. The league which kicked off on May 13, 2019 witnessed many power packed and nail-biting matches so far in the league. By the virtue of the performances in the both these legs four clear semi-finalists have emerged in the form of Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
The iconic Sree Kanteerava Stadium of Bengaluru will play host to the final leg from June 1st – June 4th 2019 and will feature 7 matches including 3 league matches, the semi-finals and the final respectively. All the matches of the Bengaluru Leg which will be broadcasted LIVE from 8:00 PM onward on DSPORT, MTV and MTV HD+, DDSPORTS, Polimer Music, DD Chandana and Kerala Vision.
It has been an exciting journey for all the four teams leading up to the semi-finals. Diler Delhi has impressed their fans with their attacking play and can be termed as the ‘Comeback Kings’ of the league. The aggressive nature of their game has helped them script many scintillating wins; players like Sunil Jaipal and Sandeep Chillar have been the stand out players for Delhi holding the fort for them in attack and defence respectively.
Delhi started off their journey by beating Chennai Challengers in their very first match of the league and continued their unbeaten run until they finally faced defeat at the hands of Bangalore Rhinos and Pune Pride in their last two matches in the Mysore leg. They still go into the last leg as Zone B toppers with 13 points.
Commenting before the start of the Bengaluru leg, Diler Delhi’s Captain, Sunil Jaipal said, “We haven’t had the best result in the last two matches but due to strong performances earlier we are in a good position. We want to make sure we win our last league match before entering the semi-finals."
Pune Pride also kicked off their campaign with a win and have lost only two matches out of ten, one against Pondicherry and one against Chennai. The stellar performances of players like Amarjeeth Singh, Venkatesha and raider Abdul Sheikh, has helped Pune in making their way to the top and is currently leading Zone A having earned 16 points with all their league stage matches done.
Speaking about their run in the league, Pune Pride’s star raider Abdul Sheikh said “The team has performed extremely well in the league so far and our moral is particularly high after defeating Delhi in our last match, who is a topper of Zone B. We are hopeful to maintain our winning momentum when we play in the semi-finals.”
The other two semi-finalists, Bangalore Rhinos, and Chennai Challengers have showcased a similar performance with both of them at five wins, one draw, and eleven points in their kitty. Both the teams seemed to struggle in the first leg in Pune but with the advent of the Mysore leg they picked up their game and have been on a winning run for their last three matches.
“The team is really excited for the Bengaluru leg as we would be playing on our home turf and will have strong support from the local audience. Team’s moral is really high right now and we are positive that we can maintain the winning momentum we gained in the last three matches and get a fourth win in a row when we play against Chennai Challengers. If we keep our heads steady and make the most of our home advantage, we believe that winning the league won’t be a distant target," said Bangalore Rhinos captain, Vipin Malik.
“The team has performed extremely well in the last three matches. We are highly optimistic that we can beat Bangalore Rhinos in our next match and make it to the semi-finals and then final,” said Sunil Kumar of Chennai Challengers.
The first day of the leg will witness a face-off between Haryana Heros and Mumbai CheRaje, followed by two matches on day 2, the first one between Bangalore Rhinos and Chennai Challengers and the second one between Zone B topper Diler Delhi and Pondicherry Predators. The semi-finals and final will be played on June 3rd and June 4th, 2019, respectively.