Defending champions Bengaluru Bulls sneaked past UP Yoddha into the PKL 2019 semi-finals with a 48-45 edge-of-the-seat tiebreaker on Monday. The match took place at the EKA Arena by TransStadia, Ahmedabad (19:30 IST). For the first time in PKL history, an eliminator ended in a tie, bringing the match to extra time. Pawan Kumar Sehrawat proved why he is the reigning MVP, single-handedly carrying his team to the Pro Kabaddi League playoffs with 20 raid points, including two four-point raids.
#UPvBLR truly gave us a taste of what it means to be in the #WorldsToughestWeek.— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) October 14, 2019
Congrats to @BengaluruBulls on making it to the semi-finals!
⏲️ : NOW
⏳ : Star Sports & Hotstar#IsseToughKuchNahi #VIVOProKabaddiPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/gBZ7ahu0WD
UP Yoddha gained an early advantage after sending Sehrawat to the bench early in the first half. With Shrikant Jadhav and Surender Gill carrying out back-to-back successful raids, enforcing an all-out on Bengaluru Bulls on the seventh minute, gaining an 11-4 lead. The Hi-Flyer was sent back again after a tackle by Nitesh Kumar, after which Rohit Kumar was sent to raid. Mahender Singh then tackled Gill and brought back Sehrawat, who then executed a four-point Super Raid to bring his team back into the game. After some unsuccessful raids, UP Yoddha was down to two men right before half time. Nitesh and Narender tried their best to Super Tackle Sehrawat, but the Hi-Flyer did not give up and reached the midline after an intense struggle. Combined with Rohit Kumar's efforts, the first half ended with a 20-17 score.
As Pawan Sehrawat got tackled again, UP Yoddha managed to maintain and increase their lead in the second half. Two Super Tackles on Pawan Sehrawat coupled with successful raids increased UP Yoddha's advantage by seven points. However, Bengaluru Bulls were persistent. Saurabh Nandal tackled Jadhav with a firm ankle-hold, while Sehrawat once again inflicted an all-out. His two-point raid later game Bengaluru Bulls a one-point advantage. Gill's touch on Ankit tied the game, making it the first time in Pro Kabaddi history that a playoff match ended in a tie.
During extra time, Rishank Devadiga managed to bag a two-point raid, which sent the Hi-Flyer off the mat and gave UP an advantage. But Sheoran tackled Jadhav, bringing Sehrawat back in the game. After a four-point Super Raid followed by a two-point raid by Pawan Sehrawat, UP Yoddha were once again All-Out. Bengaluru Bulls earned a five-point lead, which they maintained by killing some time on the mat. Despite UP Yoddha's efforts for a comeback, Bengaluru Bulls advanced to the semi-final 1 with a three-point margin.