The Tamil Thalaivas booked their place in the semifinals of the Pro Kabaddi league by winning 6-4 on tiebreaker over UP Yoddhas after their Eliminator match ended 36-36 at full time. The Bengaluru Bulls cruised into the semis after recording a 56-24 win over Dabang Delhi in the first Eliminator match.

The Thalaivas’ raiding duo Narender (13 points) and Ajinkya Pawar (10 points) were the undoubted stars of their victory.

A close first half kicked off with the Thalaivas becoming the first team that won the toss and chose to raid this season. It seemed the decision came with a gameplan as they raced into a 4-0 lead, Narender’s raids brilliantly complemented by a tight defence. The raider continued to be a menace through the half constantly registering touch points to keep the Yoddhas depleted.

For the Yoddhas, the duo of Pardeep Narwal and Surender Gill registered a mere five points between them through the half. Reduced to three, it took a Super Tackle by Ashu Singh on Ajinkya Pawar that ensured the Yoddhas didn’t suffer an all out.

Right at the end of the half though, Narender came out again, to catch Sandeep Narwal and then Gurdeep to leave the Yoddhas on the brink of an all out. The Thalaivas went into the break leading 16-14.

The Thalaivas kicked off the second half inflicting a first All Out on the Yoddhas to surge into a 19-15 lead. The Yoddhas fought back and Gill in particular started getting points at regular intervals. The Thalaivas kept their cool though, chipping away with just enough points to constantly keep the Yoddhas at arm’s length.

With five minutes to go the two teams were separated by a mere three points and the tension was palpable. With three to go, Pardeep Narwal came alive, taking out M Himanshu and Abishek to leave the Thalaivas on the brink of an all out.

With just under two minutes to go, the Yoddhas got their first All Out of the game to draw level at 33 apiece. With barely thirty seconds to go, Narwal came up with a Super Raid to give the Yoddhas a two-point lead.

And yet, the Thaialvas fought back, Pawar earning them one point before a tackle point on Narwal with 15 seconds left, drawing them level and taking the game to a tiebreaker. The Thalaivas edged a tense back and forth tiebreaker 6-4 to take the game and set up a Semi-Final clash against Puneri Paltan on Thursday.

Bharat, Vikash power Bulls into semis

Bharat (15 points) and Vikash Kandola (13 points) emerged as the best players for the Bulls on the night.

Vikash Kandola pulled off a Super Raid in the third minute as the Bulls took a massive lead at 7-1. Moments later, Kandola effected another brilliant raid and helped his team inflict an All Out. Bharat also stepped up his game as the Bengaluru side continued to extend their lead. Ashu Malik carried out a fantastic raid in the 5th minute, but the Bulls still held the lead at 13-3.

Mahender Singh tackled Malik and Bharat caught out Sandeep Dhull as the Bengaluru side reduced Delhi to just one member in the 12th minute. The Bulls tackled Vijay Malik and carried out another All Out to dominate the proceedings at 24-10. The Dabang Delhi pulled off a Super Tackle on Bharat in the 19th minute, but the Bulls still held a healthy lead at 31-14 at the end of the first half.

Bharat effected a magnificent raid in the opening minutes of the second half as the Bengaluru side continued to hold a stronghold of the match at 33-15. Moments later, the Bulls tackled Manjeet and inflicted yet another All Out.

Bharat didn’t take his foot off the pedal as the Bengaluru side led at 39-18 in the 25th minute. The Delhi side found it difficult to pick up raid or tackle points consistently and succumbed to another All Out in the 33rd minute. The Bulls rode on the momentum and eventually closed out a comprehensive victory to book a place in the Semi-Finals.