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Pro Kabaddi League 2019, Highlights: The best of the Toughest Season 7

Dabang Delhi set for first final in PKL (Image Courtesy: Pro Kabaddi)

Bengaluru, October 18: The seventh season of Pro Kabaddi League has entered its twilight stages, with the grand final between Dabang Delhi and Bengal Warriors looming.

Interestingly, PKL 2019 will have a new winner whatever be the result, with both teams playing their first final of India's top Kabaddi tournament.

The final itself is testimony to the competitive nature of season seven that saw favourites stumble while young stars scripted new records.

Three-time champions Patna Pirates failed to reach the playoff stages despite another stellar season for Pardeep Narwal while pre-season favourites Tamil Thalaivas' poor run reminded everyone how Kabaddi is a team sport and not just about a group of talented individuals.

A season of highs

'High-flyer' Pawan Sehrawat was once again the standout raider of the season and brought Bengaluru Bulls within touching distance of a place in the finals. The defending champions were heavily reliant on Pawan's raiding skills and he scored 346 points in 24 match with 18 Super 10s and a staggering strike rate of 75%.

While Naveen Kumar didn't exactly match Pawan Sehrawat's points, his 20 consecutive Super 10s was the key in Dabang Delhi's road to the finals. The 20-year-old, a produce of the Future Kabaddi Heroes (FKH) programme, scored 283 points in 22 matches, and will end the season behind only Pawan Sehrawat and Pardeep Narwal (302) in overall points.

Ever since the dawn of the PKL, Kabaddi as a sport has evolved, and season seven was once again proof to the fast changing nature, with the defenders having a bigger say in results.

While UP Yoddha's Nitesh Kumar couldn't match his 100-point tally from last season, you could see a distinct changes in approaches as the corners starting tackling more eagerly.

In fact, the success of teams like U Mumba, UP Yoddha and Bengal Warriors was down to effective corners. U Mumba's 'Sultan' Fazel Atrachali topped the chart with 82 tackle points.

UP's duo of Sumit and Nitesh Kumar (both products of the FKH) scored 77 and 75 respectively while Sandeep Dhull clinched 73 despite playing for a Jaipur Pink Panthers side that failed to qualify for the playoffs.

A final on merit

The League stage's top two teams - Dabang Delhi and Bengal Warriors - will fight it out for the coveted trophy in Ahmedabad on Saturday (October 19). Both teams have shown remarkably consistency throughout the season and deserve a shot at the title for their all-round performances.

The Bengal corner combination of Baldev Singh and Rinku Narwal will be keen to stop Naveen 'Express' Kumar from reaching another Super 10 while at the other end the experienced duo of Ravinder Pahal and Joginder Narwal will look to thwart the Bengal raiders.

The Warriors haven't been beaten by Delhi this season but it remains to be seen if their talisman Maninder Singh will be fit enough to start against Dabang.

PKL will get a new champion on Saturday (October 19). But the season has already produced new champions with the FKH products showing what a platform like the Pro Kabaddi League can do for young sportspersons in the country.

Top Raiders:

Raider Matches
Raid Points Super 10s Avg. Raid Points Raid SR
Pawan Sehrawat 24 346 18 14.4 75
Pardeep Narwal 22 302 15 13.7 67
Naveen Kumar 22 283 21 12.9 63
Siddharth Desai 22 217 10 9.9 66
Maninder Singh 20 205 10 10.3 64

Top Defenders:

Defender Matches Tackle Points High 5s Avg. Tackle Points Tackle SR
Fazel Atrachali 24 82 4 3.4 61
Sumit 22 77 7 3.5 55
Nitesh Kumar 23 75 6 3.3 61
Sandeep Dhull 22 73 5 3.3 49
Baldev Singh 23 64 6 2.8 55

TUNE IN details for finals (19/10/2019):

♦ Coverage begins with Pre-show at 7:00 pm

♦ World feed starts at 7:50 pm

Match Starts at 8:00 pm: Dabang Delhi vs Bengal Warriors

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Story first published: Friday, October 18, 2019, 8:41 [IST]
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