Patna Pirates will battle it out against Bengaluru Bulls in the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League at the Kankarbagh Indoor stadium in Patna on Sunday.
The Pirates have been playing continuously this week as they play their fourth game on the trot on Sunday. Meanwhile, Bengaluru played against U Mumba earlier in the week on Tuesday. Both teams go into the match without a win in their previous encounters.
While the boys from Bangalore were beaten pretty easily by U Mumba easily the Pirates tied their last game against Dabang Delhi. Neither the Patna Pirates nor the Bengaluru Bulls can claim to be the favourite going into the match. The Pirates stand second while the Bulls are fourth with two games in hand.
For the Pirates a win here would mean closing the gap between first placed U Mumba and some breathing space as the dangerous Pink Panthers in third place are intent on making life difficult for them. The Bulls on the other hand would love to climb up the table and find some of the dominance they had early on in the league.
Patna Pirates have tied their last two matches against U Mumba and Dabang Delhi. They displayed great tenacity to hold U Mumba to a tie. It wasn't the greatest of games for them but they would have been pleased that they did not end up on the losing side as most teams when playing U Mumba have done so. The star here for them was Tae Deok Eom who with a minute remaining scored a point and ensured his team would not go back losers.
After this performance they would've fancied their chances against the boys from Delhi. The Dabang Delhi side played hard and saw to it the Pirates would not walk away victorious. The fact that the Pirates haven't been able to seize the advantage and go home winners may bother them a bit. They do need to shore up the defence against the Bulls who led by Manjit Chillar are very good in attack. In attack as always the onus lies on Rakesh Kumar for the Pirates.
The Bengaluru Bulls who started the tournament well have hit a bit of a rough patch as they've lost their last two games against Puneri Paltan and U Mumba respectively. The match against Puneri Paltan was close, but they were completely outplayed by U Mumba.
The Bulls' defence too does need strengthening, especially against a star player like Rakesh Kumar. The offense should look to seize the early initiative as taking a huge lead early would pay dividends. Constant raids by Ajay Thakur are what the Bulls would hope for. Manjit Chillar will play a huge role too.
It would be hard to predict a winner here. Both the Patna Pirates and the Bengaluru Bulls are desperate for a win and could constantly try and push each other on the back foot — a game of cat and mouse is on the cards.
Where to Watch Live:
Patna Pirates play Bengaluru Bulls at 9 pm. Star Sports will air the match. Live coverage will comence on Star Sports HD 2 from 7:45 pm. This is the link for the live streaming option on starsports.com.