Patna's heist, Bengal's gutting tie, and a Thalaivas party to remember: Six best PKL matches so far

Highlights: Tamil Thalaivas v Patna Pirates (3:35)

Pro Kabaddi League 2018. (3:35)

The first two weeks of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 6 ended on Sunday, with the 28 matches so far having seen plenty of action - three ties, plenty of close finishes and some early trends.

With so much having happened and only 110 matches to go, we decided to revisit the six best matches so far.

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Match 1: Tamil Thalaivas d. Patna Pirates 42-26

The three-time defending champions against a team playing their second season, one that took to sports science in a bid to perfect their preparation after a bottom-of-the-table finish last season. And all in Tamil Nadu, a state with a kabaddi history of its own, one that the PKL carnival was visiting for just the second time.

On paper, it didn't look promising for the Thalaivas, but buoyed by the energy of a home crowd, by appreciative viewers from as far apart as Dindigul and Pretoria, the home team dominated. Led by Ajay Thakur, ever dependable in the raiding department, the Thalaivas' defence blunted the attack of Patna, with only Pardeep Narwal and Manjeet putting up some resistance. It wasn't the most competitive scoreline, but it was, arguably, the best season opener PKL could have asked for. That the Thalaivas lost their next five matches perhaps only makes their win more impressive.

Match 9: Patna Pirates d. UP Yoddha 43-41


Highlights: UP Yoddha v Patna Pirates

Pardeep Narwal starred in Patna's tense 43-41 win over UP.

Patna immediately bounced back from their loss to the Thalaivas by beating UP in a tense, difficult finish. The lead oscillated back and forth, with Pardeep scoring 10 raid points in the first half itself to bring Patna from behind twice and put them ahead 21-20 at the halfway mark.

UP fought back on multiple occasions in the second half, with raiders Shrikant Jadhav and Rishank Devadiga starring, the former pulling off some spectacular raids. Ultimately, it was the defence that made the difference, as is so often the case, as Patna scored four more tackle points than UP, including one in the final seconds to seal the win.

Match 14 - U Mumba d. Haryana Steelers 53-26


Highlights: Haryana Steelers v U Mumba

All the highlights from the Zone A match

Haryana came into the match on the back of their first win, achieved in front of their home crowd in Sonepat. But they were completely outplayed in their next match by U Mumba, whose new-look team worked perfectly to give them their first win of this season and their biggest victory in the PKL.

U Mumba's raiders - Abhishek Singh, Rohit Baliyan and Siddharth Desai in particular -- made a mockery of Haryana's defence, which scored just five tackle points in total. Fazel Atrachali marshalled Mumba's defence and neutralised Haryana's attack, scoring seven tackle points by himself. Even Monu Goyat, the most expensive player this season, made just one successful raid, scored three points in total and was substituted early in the second half.

Match 23: Telugu Titans d. Patna Pirates 35-31


Highlights: Match 23 - Patna Pirates v Telugu Titans

Pro Kabaddi League 2018

This match was another example of Patna's reliance on Pardeep as well as the importance of defence. Pardeep scored just five raid points off four successful raids out of 15 attempted, with Manjeet and Vijay making up by scoring a combined 16 raid points. And although the Titans didn't have a great raiding day either, defenders Vishal Bhardwaj and Abozar Mighani teamed up for 11 tackle points to get the better of the demanding champions.

Iran's Mighani, who has proved the difference for the team that finished second-last in Zone B last year, made a Super Tackle to send Pardeep to the bench at 30-30 and with five minutes to go. The Titans held on to their lead from there.

Match 25: UP Yoddha 40-40 Bengal Warriors


Highlights: U.P. Yoddha v Bengal Warriors

All the highlights from the Zone B match

The third tie of this season was one of this season's most exciting matches, for the number of twists and turns it offered until the last second. For Bengal, who suffered their first loss of the season in their next match, the tie might have felt more like a loss, given that they fought back from 28-21 down to level score at 32-32. Raider Maninder Singh - who was assisted by defender Surjeet Singh on the scoreboard - put Bengal ahead thrice in the last four minutes, and each time it was UP's Prashanth Kumar Rai who came up with great raids of his own to thwart Bengal's chances of victory.

Match 26: Puneri Paltan d. U Mumba 33-32


Highlights: Puneri Paltan v U Mumba

All the highlights from the Zone A match

The Maharashtra derby, on paper always an exciting rivalry, has already lived up to its potential in two matches this season. The teams played out a 32-32 draw on opening day. Then, on Saturday, Pune won by a point to take top spot in Zone A.

Playing at home, Pune made the better start, inflicting an all-out to lead 15-9 before ending the half up 17-12. They were also aided by Mumba defender Atrachali's struggles. U Mumba were unable to mount a comeback until late in the match, tying the score at 29-29 and then at 31-31 with a minute to go.

Siddharth Desai, who made history earlier in the week by becoming the fastest to 50 raid points in PKL history, made a crucial error in the last seconds, allowing Pune to hold on for the win.