Pro Kabaddi League – Season 5 – Journey to the Playoffs from Zone A
The Group stage of VIVO Pro Kabaddi league season 5 has come to an end after 132 matches and now we are moving forward to the playoffs. The three teams who got through playoffs from Zone A are the best defensive sides in the league. In the end, Gujarat defeated Paltan to overcome them as Zone A toppers in the last group match. Here let’s have a look at how these teams from Zone A made their way to playoffs.
Best Raider : SACHIN (139 Raid Points)
Best Defender : ABOZAR MIGHANI (60 Tackle Points)
The newbies dominated their Zone and they are the only side be undefeated at home. They also became the first team from their Zone to qualify for Playoffs. Only 3 out of 11 teams were able to defeat Gujarat in this season and they are Haryana Steelers (twice), Tamil Thalaivas and Jaipur Pink Panthers. Their main strength was their two Iranian defenders Atrachali and Abozar Mighani who made it difficult for other raiders to raid when they were on mat. Gujarat was the only team with no established raider in the team at the start and they started to play with new players in the circuits and it turned out to be a masterstroke. Gujarat will be the favorites to win the cup. They will play Bengal Warriors in Qualifier 1 on 25th October.
Best Raider : DEEPAK NIVAS HOODA (154 Raid Points)
Best Defender : GIRISH MARUTI ERNAK (55 Tackle Points)
Paltan was initially a strong contender for topping Zone A , but 3 losses in their Home leg halted their progress. They were defeated by Gujarat thrice and in the last league match, Gujarat overcame Paltan to top the Zone. Paltan is the only team to have balance in both defence and offence in this season. Sandeep Narwal and Deepak Nivas Hooda, who scores point both in offence and defence, were ably supported by the do-or-die specialist Rajesh Mondal. Their main strength was their all-rounders, who won many matches for them when one of the departments failed for them in a match. Their strategy of scoring points in the game was by eliminating weak links from the opponents. They will be playing UP Yoddha in the first eliminator and will start as favorites to qualify for the 2nd Eliminator.
Best Raider : WAZIR SINGH (104 Raid Points)
Best Defender : SURENDER NADA (79 Tackle Points)
Haryana roped in 2 of the best defenders in the PKL history to start their new season. Surender Nada with his defending skills and captain ship led his team to finish 3rd spot in their Zone and qualify for playoffs. They were the only team to defeat Gujarat not once but twice and drew their last encounter with Gujarat. Their rhythm stopped once Vikas Kandola was left out of the squad after an injury. Then Prashanth Kumar Rai, Wazir Singh and Deepak Kumar Dahiya made sure the team at least one raider who performed well in every game if not all. Haryana were the team to win most of the matches after trailing their opponents and then making a great comeback to win those games. They will be facing Patna Pirates in the Eliminator 2 and it will be a tough task for them to win the game as Patna is led by Dubki King Pardeep who is the top raider in this season.