The most exciting stage of the Pro Kabaddi League is here. From eight to four teams and now, down to two, the action cannot be missed by any means.
U Mumba led the Pro Kabaddi League 2016 table at the end of their 14 regular league matches this season, while Patna Pirates stood second this time. Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors stood third and fourth, respectively.
Defending champions U Mumba look the strongest of the four teams as they not only have the experience of reaching the final on the previous two seasons, but their form has also seen a rise in the second half of the season.
The Mumbai side defeated Dabang Delhi by as many as 16 points in their final group fixture, Wednesday, and climbed to the top the league. After being beaten by Patna Pirates on Feb. 6, U Mumba went on to win 10 games on the trot and once again, stamped their presence in the competition.
They finished their league season with 60 points: 12 wins and two losses.
Patna Pirates, on the other hand, had a dream start to their campaign, decimating almost everyone who came in their path. Their form, however, saw a dip in the second half of the season. U Mumba and Telugu Titans were the only side who beat them this season, while Puneri Paltan recorded a draw against them on both encounters this season.
The Pirates won twice, lost twice and recorded a draw on one occasion from their previous five fixtures. They finished their league season with 58 points: ten wins, two losses and two draws.
Puneri Paltan, who stood third in the table, didn't have the brightest of starts to their season to be honest, but their performance in the second half was praise-worthy. They won six of their last eight fixtures, drawing (against Patna Pirates) and losing (against U Mumba) one game each.
Boasting of a star-studded line-up comprising the likes of Ajay Thakur, Manjeet Chhillar and Deepak Hooda, much was expected of the Pune side and they did deliver at the end. They finished their league season with 48 points: seven wins, four losses and two draws.
Like Patna Pirates, Bengal Warriors had a dream to start their season but somewhere down the road, they lost that magic touch. The Kolkata-based team, who never made it to the Pro Kabaddi playoffs over the last two seasons, did check that expectation off this time. However, they know they have to get their form back at the earliest to have any chance of progressing to the grand finale.
They lost four times in their last 10 games and finished the league season with a total of 47 points: nine wins and five losses.
Pro Kabaddi League 2016 semi finals schedule:
|Date||Team A||Team B||Time||Venue|
|4 March, 2016||Patna Pirates||v||Puneri Paltan||8 pm IST||Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi|
|4 March, 2016||U Mumba||v||Bengal Warriors||9 pm IST||Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi|
TV listings: Star Sports Network (India), Life OK (United Kingdom).