The Star Sports Pro Kabbadi League Season Four reaches the semifinal stages on Friday, with two explosive matchups that will stream live to determine which franchises battle it out on Sunday four the fourth PKL trophy — and second in 2016, the first time that the colorful league has held two tournaments in the same year.
But there will be one difference between this season and the previous three Pro Kabaddi League seasons — this time the powerful U Mumba team will be missing from the elimination round.
Pro Kabaddi semifinals schedule: Fixtures, TV listings, date, time, venue
U Mumba couldn’t make …
— 3Novices Australia (@3novicesSydney) July 28, 2016
U Mumba has appeared in all three Pro Kabaddi League finals, winning the 2015 league championship and falling in both 2014 and in the 2016 January PKL season. U Mumba missed out on the fourth and final semifinal berth despite finishing their league stage on a high note, defeating Dabang Dehli KC in New Dehli on Thursdat night, buy a 38-34 score.
But when Puneri Paltan also won their match on Thursday, squeezing by the Bengaluru Bulls, U Mumber were eliminated on the tiebreaker of point differential. That gave Puneri fourth place on the final PKL table, after they placed third — their highest finish — in the January campaign.
Getting into the semifinals for only the second time in four seasons did not come easy for Puneri. They needed a dramatic second-half comeback keyed by Manjeet Chhillar whose 11 points were the most by a defender in the match.
Puneri will now be matched against first-place finishers the Patna Pirates — the defending Pro Kabbadi League champions — in the first of two semifinal matches battled out at Gachibowli Indoor Stadum in Hyderabad, India, on Friday evening.
In the second semifinal match of the day, second-place Telegu Titans make their third semifinal appearance as they take on the winners of the inaugural Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
Watch highlights on the Jaipur Pink Panthers in action earlier in Pro Kabaddi League Season Four, against the cellar-dwelling Bengal Warriors, in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of both the Puneri Paltan vs. Patna Panthers and Telegu Titans vs. Jaipur Pink Panthers Pro Kabbadi League Season Four semifinal matches, see the final paragraph of this article.
Start time for the first match is scheduled for 8 p.m. India Standard Time, which is 10:30 a.m. United States Eastern Standard Time, 7:30 a.m. Pacific, on Friday, July 29. The second match gets underway one hour later.
For viewers who have never seen a kabaddi match, the action can appear difficult to understand without some background information. Basically, the sport is a hybrid of wrestling and the children’s game of tag — but with a twist.
While traditional kabaddi can be played in any open space, the professional version played by the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League uses a large mat, similar to a wrestling mat, as its playing surface.
— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) July 28, 2016
The mat is divided into “territories.” Each seven-player team sends a single player, or “raider,” into the opponent’s territory — where he must face all seven of the opposing defenders, known as “antis,” at once.
The raider scores points for his team by tagging as many of the defending players as he can and returning safely to his own territory without the defenders wrestling him to the mat.
Seems simple — but again, there’s a twist. The raider must get in and out of opposing territory without drawing a single breath. He takes a deep breath before staging a raid, but to insure that he does not sneak a breath while on the raid, he must chant “kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi” over and over again until he has finished raiding his opponents’ territory.
But raiders are also on a clock, with each raid limited to 30 seconds.
EARLIER INQUISITR PRO KABADDI COVERAGE:
Pro Kabaddi League Season 4: Puneri Platens Clash With Patna Pirates On Match Day 3
Pro Kabaddi League 2016 Final: U Mumba Vs. Patna Pirates
Pro Kabaddi League 2015 Final Live Online: Bengaluru Bulls Vs. U Mumba,
Pro Kabaddi League Match 51 Live Online: Jaipur Pink Panthers Vs. Bengal Warriors
Pro Kabaddi League 2015 Live Online: Telugu Titans Vs. Dabang Delhi
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A live stream of both Pro Kabaddi League Season Four semifinal matches, Patna Pirates vs, Panera Pultan followed by Telegu Titans vs. Jaipur Pink Panthers, can be accessed at this link, or at this link as well.
[Featured Photo via Pro Kabaddi League Facebook Page]