Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 4 Final & 3rd place playoff Preview: Patna, Jaipur look to create history
Going by the history books, none of these teams should have made it to the final of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 4. In each of the past 3 seasons, we’ve had a new winner. This time, however, Patna Pirates or Jaipur Pink Panthers will become the first team ever to win the PKL title twice.
The fans assembled in Hyderabad witnessed 2 contrasting, yet equally exciting matches in both the semi-finals. First, Patna Pirates edged out Puneri Paltan in a tie which swung more than a pendulum. Then, it was the turn of the team from the Pink city to dismantle the home team – Telugu Titans.
3rd place play-off: Puneri Paltan vs Telugu Titans
Despite all the talk of the final, the campaign for the semi-final losers is not over though. The two teams will compete for a podium finish in the 3rd place play-off – the first match on the final day of the fourth season of this innovative league.
Puneri Paltan managed 6 wins and 2 draws in their 14 matches to narrowly edge out U Mumba for the final semis spot. Telugu Titans, on the other hand, had finished second comfortably after a 9-match unbeaten run.
Manjeet Chhillar’s return from injury came at the right time, but even he was unable to stop the rampaging Patna attack. The opening match of the season saw them beat their 3rd place play-off opponents 28-24, but the Season 2 semi-finalists got one back with a win of their own in Bengaluru in the second half of the tournament. Rahul Chaudhari has been playing through the pain barrier, but has emerged as the most prolific raider this season.
It is the 23-year-old Titans captain who the Paltan have to be most afraid of as he is scoring points by the dozen. Joginder Narwal, Manjeet and Ravinder Pahal will have to be on their toes to nullify his attack. For the Paltan, Deepak Niwas Hooda has led the charge and he sits at No. 3 in the top raiders list with his boisterous raids. The two corners of the Titans – Sandeep Narwal and Sandeep Dhull – will need to keep him quiet if they harbour any hopes of finishing 3rd.
The match begins at 8 pm on 31st July at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.
Final: Patna Pirates vs Jaipur Pink Panthers
So, after over 30 days of unadulterated, unrelenting action, we finally have the 2 teams that will play for the PKL trophy – Patna Pirates and Jaipur Pink Panthers. Patna are the reigning champions while the Pink Panthers lifted the title in the inaugural season. This measnt that the team that ends up on the winning side will be the first to win the trophy TWICE!
Patna had to overcome a determined Puneri Paltan in the semi-final after topping the table in the league stage. However, the presence of Fazel Atrachali and Hadi Oshtorak to complement the raiding skills of Pardeep Narwal ensured they continued their unbeaten run vs the Pune-based franchise.
Jaipur Pink Panthers were the first team to qualify for the semis and they were dominant vs Telugu Titans in the semis to reach this stage. Amit Hooda was at his defensive best along with Ran Singh, while Jasvir Singh and Ajay Kumar took care of the raiding for the Abhishek Bachchan-owned team. Rajesh Narwal, too, is capable of turning matches in his side’s favour single-handedly.
Patna Pirates lead the head to head 5-4 despite Jaipur doing the double over the reigning champions in Season 4. The team from Rajasthan has never lost a single match in the playoff stage. On the other hand, Patna are the reigning champions and have the in-form Pardeep in their ranks. Both the teams will be eager to create history and be named as the most successful team in the tournament’s history come 10 pm on 31st July.
The match begins at 9 pm on 31st July, 2016 at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.