PKL7 Semi-Final Preview: Bengal Warriors vs. U Mumba

PKL7 Semi-Final Preview: Bengal Warriors vs. U Mumba

We have entered the most exciting phase of the Pro Kabaddi season with the semi-finals only a few hours away as the 2nd placed team in the League Stage, Bengal Warriors, takes on the PKL2 Champions U Mumba. At SportsKPI, we believe in looking at the world of sports through the numbers’ glasses. In this article, SportsKPI dives into the numbers of the journey of these two teams so far in PKL7.

Team Preview:

Let’s begin with a simple head-to-head comparison of wins and losses. Bengal Warriors were leading at half-time in 15 out of their 22 matches and went on to win 11 of them and one ended in a tie. U Mumba have lost only 1 match out of 11 where they were leading at the break.

Let’s take a deeper dive and break the numbers down into 5-min intervals. Bengal start each half at a relatively slower pace than usual as can be seen in the image. They accelerate with their full might towards the end of each half. Second half of the match is where the Warriors come alive in raiding, having an average success rate of 42%. U Mumba believe in attack in the best form of defense in the first half. This is where most of their success peaks are visible. In the second half, they slow down the pace of the game and hence, their success rates fall during this time.

Turning our focus now on the performance of both the teams when they faced a particular number of defenders on the mat. Bengal, being a team that focusses on raiding to win matches are naturally scoring more points in almost every situation shown below. U Mumba hit their opponents hard when they have more than 5 defenders on the mat while still having a decent record in Super Tackle situations.

Bengal Warriors, as seen before too, hold the upper hand in terms of raiding prowess, while U Mumba take the opponent raiders out of the game through their defensive department. U Mumba have been quite better in Do-or-Die situations than the Warriors and display a better performance while both raiding and defending in these situations.

Key Players:

Raiders: Maninder Singh vs. Abhishek Singh

Both raiders are masters in the art of Running Hand Touches. No wonder their skill-set spikes towards that particular set as shown in the image below. While Abhishek majorly attacks with the Running Hand Touch, Maninder is more versatile in the skill-set that he possesses, adding Leg/Back Thrust, Toe Touch and Hand Touch to his attacking kitty.

Defenders: Baldev Singh vs. Fazel Atrachali

Leading their respective teams in defense, these two players will hold the key to stopping their opponent key raiders. Fazel Atrachali is the most complete defender amongst all in PKL. This is evident from the plot shown below. He has scored points using almost every skill that a defender can possess in Kabaddi. Baldev leads the Bengal defense line. Baldev is not far behind Fazel in terms of versatility. Some of his top skills include Dive, Body Hold, Block and Thigh Hold. With such a range of skills, he will be the key to stop Mumba’s raiders running from right to left.

SKPI Prediction:

This match is mostly, if not entirely, Bengal’s raiders against Mumba’s defenders. If Mumba manage to keep Maninder on the bench for most of the match, they will have one foot in the final. If Warriors can find an answer to Mumba’s defensive might, there is a massive chance for them to secure their place in the PKL7 finals.