Star Sports Pro Kabaddi: Jaipur and Patna fight it out for semi-final spot
After a sensational Bengaluru leg, which saw the home team Bengaluru Bulls seal a semi-final spot, the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi caravan moves to the final city of the group stage – Pune. The Puneri Paltans don’t have a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, but will be looking to put up a show in front of their own fans.
The culture capital of Maharashtra will see the home team take on Dabang Delhi in the inaugural match today. The Dabangs have also been knocked out of the tournament, but will look to end their inconsistent campaign with a win against the bottom-placed team. They will pin their hopes on Kashiling Adake, who is the top raider of the season so far.
The resurgent Jaipur Pink Panthers can, virtually, seal their spot in the playoffs with a win over lowly Bengal Warriors in the second match of the day. Buoyed by a sensational second half to the season, the Panthers now have a real chance of defending their crown.
On the second day of the Pune leg, league toppers U Mumba will face their derby rivals, Puneri Paltan at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex. The Anup Kumar-led side had earlier got the better of Pune and will be looking to complete a double on the Wazir Singh-led side. However, with a vociferous crowd backing them, the Paltans may spring a surprise and get one over the Mumbaikars, who may rest some of their star players, having already secured top spot.
A playoff for the semi-final spot between Jaipur and Patna
Telugu Titans and U Mumba will face off in a top of the table clash to start the proceedings on the third day of the Pune leg. The Titans are fretting over an injury to Sukesh Hegde, while Rahul Chaudhari was rested in their loss vs the Bulls on the final day of the Bengaluru leg. The home team will take on Patna Pirates, whose semi-final hopes hang by a thread. The Pirates trail 4th-placed Jaipur Pink Panthers by 5 points.
In a blockbuster tie, the Panthers and Pirates will face-off in what could be a decider for the final semi-final spot. Patna will have to beat Jaipur in this match to have a chance of making the semis. However, Jaipur can avoid a tough match against U Mumba in the semis by winning both their matches and hoping Bengaluru Bulls lose their final match. The Bulls take on home team Puneri Paltan in the final group match of season 2 of Pro Kabaddi. The Paltans are struggling to field 10 players due to injuries, but it would be a travesty for the fans if their team ended the second season on the back of yet another loss.
With a final semi-final spot available and Jaipur Pink Panthers and Patna Pirates fighting for that, the Pune leg is sure to be extremely captivating and will be a good precursor for the knockout stages.