Report by Scroll.in’s Shahid Judge from the venue.
Second half stats:
Shahid Judge from the venue: We are the Champions playing on the speakers. Replaced by the first song when the teams walked on court today - “D se Dabang, D se Dilli, yeh hai Dilli ki kabaddi”
Second half, Patna Pirates 36-37 Dabang Delhi KC: FULL TIME! NAVEEN GETS THE SAFE RAID! Patna want to review but no reviews left. Delhi are champions.
Second half, Patna Pirates 36-37 Dabang Delhi KC: Shadloui gets another quick point!!! And then Naveen gets one too. WOW. Seven seconds to go another point for Patna. Now the last raid. Naveen just needs a safe raid.
Second half, Patna Pirates 34-36 Dabang Delhi KC: Another bonus point for Shadloui and with 54 seconds to go, Naveen will kill time.
Second half, Patna Pirates 33-36 Dabang Delhi KC: Shadloui with a raid of himself. The coach wasn’t happy but the Iranian gets a bonus point. Now a do-or-die raid and Vijay comes up big again! Patna coach is fuming.
Second half, Patna Pirates 32-35 Dabang Delhi KC: Manjeet left to fend for himself by his defence, this is not done yet.
Second half, Patna Pirates 31-35 Dabang Delhi KC: No more reviews tonight. Delhi will start to play the clock now, empty raid from Naveen. Timeout for Pirates with 2.34 to go.
Shahid Judge: Naveen plants a kiss on Vijay’s cheek for that brilliant, and timely, Super Raid. Delhi up 35-30 with just over 3 mins to go.
Second half, Patna Pirates 30-35 Dabang Delhi KC: SUPER RAID VIJAY! Three points. Super 10 for him. He has come up with some HUGE plays. That is a big big point in the match.
Delhi leads 32-29 with just over 5 mins to go. Naveen on the mat, Shadloui isn’t.
Shahid Judge: Patna’s assistant coach gets a “last warning” from the umpire.
Second half, Patna Pirates 29-32 Dabang Delhi KC: Good review by Delhi to cut out a bonus point for Patna. Everything counts. Time out now. 5.09 left.
Shahid: Terrible mistake by Shadloui. There was a chance that Vijay got the touch on Sohrab to activate the lobby. In that case, the Iranian would be safe, only he stepped completely off the mat. Shadloui livid on the bench.
Second half, Patna Pirates 28-32 Dabang Delhi KC: Review unsuccessful and Shadloui with a mistake, review lost as well. Huge lead at this point for Delhi with 5.25 left.
Second half, Patna Pirates 28-30 Dabang Delhi KC: ALL OUT FOR DELHI! What a time to get it!
Second half, Patna Pirates 27-27 Dabang Delhi KC: Bonus and a touch point for Guman, and Patna have 2 on the mat. But Naveen is unstoppable at the moment.
Shahid: Naveen gets to a Super 10, and with it, Delhi takes the lead for the first time this match with 8:40 left on the clock.
Second half, Patna Pirates 24-25 Dabang Delhi KC: DELHI IN THE LEAD! Another Super 10 for Naveen Kumar, the streak continues.
Three on the mat for Patna, full strength for Delhi. An all out will be huge for Delhi
Shahid Judge: For the first time since the early stages of the match, Dabang Delhi are level on points with Patna Pirates. Both teams are on 24-24, with 9:44 left on the clock.
Second half, Patna Pirates 24-24 Dabang Delhi KC (score corrected): ALL SQUARE! Naveen back on the mat, and he ties the scores. 9.44 to go and we have a time out.
Second half, Patna Pirates 24-23 Dabang Delhi KC: SWING AGAIN! Another Patna do-or-die raid goes well. They are on the charge now, 24-20. Oh wow, Vijay then makes it a Super Raid. Huge! It is a 1-point game again.
Umpires pleading with Patna coach Ram Meher Singh to take it easy on the bench. No coaching allowed!
Second half, Patna Pirates 23-19 Dabang Delhi KC: MOMENTUM! Guman gets 2 points on a Do-or-die raid and then Shadloui and CO step up to get Naveen off the mat.
Shahid Judge: Confusion on the Patna bench. ‘Wrong revival, and a technical point goes to Delhi.” It seems the wrong player came back on court. You can only get back on court based in the order in which you got out.
Second half, Patna Pirates 20-19 Dabang Delhi KC: Oh controversy. A wrong revival order from Pirates and that’s another soft point conceded by Pirates.
Second half, Patna Pirates 20-18 Dabang Delhi KC: Monu, an allrounder, is on the mat for Patna now. A tactical switch. Delhi have the advantage on count still. A defender loses his footing and goes out of bounds, a soft point conceded by Patna and Delhi are back to full strength.
Second half half, Patna Pirates 20-17 Dabang Delhi KC: A huge point in the match! After more joy for raiders, a big tackle sees Naveen off the mat. But Manjeet responds for Delhi with the legend Manjeet stepping up. Every time you think Patna have made a big move, Delhi fight back.
Second half about to start, here we go!
Shahid Judge: Half-time, still could go anyway. Patna up 17-15. But in the Shadloui vs Naveen battle, it’s the Delhi raider who has been more effective so far. Naveen has seven raid points against Shadloui’s lone tackle point - which happened to come at Naveen’s expense.
HALF TIME: Dabang Delhi 15-17 Patna Pirates
An all-out for Patna but the match is finely poised. Raiders dominating the first half, defence from both sides need to pick up their acts.
First half, Dabang Delhi 15-17 Patna Pirates: Potentially a big moment for Delhi as Vijay escapes Shadloui’s tackle. Naveen revived now with 20 seconds left and he gets another point. Close, close battle this.
First half, Dabang Delhi 13-16 Patna Pirates: Naveen is off the mat after a do-or-die raid goes awry. Sachin then gets one right for Patna who are staying ahead.
Shahid Judge: It’s endearing how the Next Genners apologise to umpires by holding both ears. Krishan Narwal gets ‘scolded’ for pulling the Patna raider’s jersey
Shahid Judge: Both captains get a green card. “Captains, please control your teams,” says the ref.
First half, Dabang Delhi 12-14 Patna Pirates: Patna still saying ahead and the Delhi defence is also starting to make their mark. Then Naveen goes for the do-or-die raid and does his thing! Lovely 360 turn and then a tumble. Swag. And then a big play from DD defence.
Shahid Judge: Things potentially getting feisty between Shadloui and Naveen. The Delhi raider claims a touch, the Patna defender disagrees and calls for a review when the umpires side with Naveen. Final verdict.... Review unsuccessful. Naveen gets the point.
First half, Dabang Delhi 8-12 Patna Pirates: ALL OUT! The score was close enough but Delhi kept losing players without reviving anyone. Eventually leads to an allout as Sandeep runs himself out of bounds.
Shahid Judge: The Haryanvi lingo is high in the Delhi defence. Joginder and Sandeep yelling instructions at each other
First half, Dabang Delhi 5-7 Patna Pirates: Shadloui now leads a defensive move on Naveen that sees Patna make the first big move of the night on the scoreboard. An allout coiuld be imminent. Three on the mat for Delhi.
First half, Dabang Delhi 5-6 Patna Pirates: It’s all raiders and bonus points here. Neither defence yet to make an impact.
Shahid Judge: In the battle between Naveen and Shadloui, Naveen draws first blood with a touch point on the Iranian defender. It’s Delhi’s first touch point of the night
First half, Dabang Delhi 1-1 Patna Pirates: Naveen starts with a bonus point, an empty raid from Patna. Prashant Kumar Rai then brings Patna on board with a touch on Joginder Narwal.
HERE WE GO! The countdown done, Naveen Kumar will begin proceedings for Delhi.
Shahid Judge: The teams have walked out to fancy music, national anthem time.
Delhi’s veterans step up
The Dabang Delhi outfit was thought to be a one-man army, and their season threatened to derail when Naveen was ruled out through injury. But that’s when the veteran stars of the team stepped up.
Captain Joginder Narwal has played 100 PKL matches, Manjeet Chhillar has played 131, Jeeva Kumar has played 135, and the mercurial Sandeep Narwal has 148 caps. On the bench, there’s even the former India captain and Padma Shri Ajay Thakur with 120 PKL matches under the belt.
Unlike Delhi, the Pirates went big in their wins. In fact, they finished the group stage with a stunning positive 120-point difference at the end of 22 matches – that included 16 wins, one draw and five losses. In their 23rd match, they beat UP Yoddha 38-27 in the semi-final.
And this from a team that, at the start of the season, at least on paper, had no such bonafide superstar in the raiding department at least. This is the first term since the emergence of Pardeep Narwal that the Pirates have been without the star raider.
Pardeep and Patna went different ways when he decided to enter the auction rather than be retained, fetching a record Rs 1.65 crore salary. In place of Pardeep, Patna sought the services of a list of talented players, but none with as high a profile as Pardeep.
And that combination worked as everyone has chipped in with points.
We will have updates from Shahid Judge at the venue as well during the course of this blog.
08.15 pm: Hello and welcome to live updates of Pro Kabaddi season 8 final where Patna Pirates take on Dabang Delhi.
Patna showed their squad superiority in the semi-final against U.P. Yoddha with their defence completely nullifying the raiding duo of Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill. Similarly, Delhi, Season 7 runners up, relied on their experienced defence to stop Bengaluru Bulls and Pawan Sehrawat to secure another shot at winning the coveted title.
Patna Pirates coach Ram Mehar Singh: “I am very proud of my team and their achievements this season. All of them have played their role to perfection which has resulted in us qualifying for the final of PKL Season 8. We are really excited to be playing Dabang Delhi K.C. who are a good team with a balance of both, young and experienced players. Patna Pirates have shown great consistency and strength in offence and defence right through the tournament. We will have certain plans to tackle Naveen Kumar and their powerful raiders, but we will also have our strategies for the entire team as well. I am confident with my team, and I know that they will give more than 100 per cent to ensure we win the title for the fourth time. This is going to be a thrilling final and we can’t wait for it.”
Dabang Delhi KC coach Krishan Kumar Hooda: “It gives us immense pleasure to be in the final of PKL Season 8. This tournament is the best in the world and to be among the top two out of 12 teams is a special feeling. Patna Pirates are one of the most balanced sides in the tournament. They have got really good players who can turn the match around at any moment. But we also have a good team and we will make our strategies according to them. Mohammadreza Shadloui will be among our top concerns, but we will make our plans for him. I am confident with my team and they have shown their capability throughout the season and in the semi-final. On the day, it’s anybody’s game, but I can guarantee that it will be a great final.”
The match will be live on Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar