Puneri Paltan and Bengal Warriors registered thrilling victories in their respective 2023-24 Pro Kabaddi League matches on Monday.
While Aslam Inamdar scored a super ten each as Puneri Paltan beat reigning champions Jaipur Pink Panthers, Bengal Warriors rode on Maninder Singh’s exploits against Bengaluru Bulls.
Singh kicked off proceedings with the first raid of the evening, one which yielded a bonus point as well as a touch point to put the Warrios on the board. In what was billed as the battle of the big raiders, he had stamped his mark.
At the other end though Bharat was tackled on his very first raid, an ominous sign of the way things would go for him through the game. It took Bengaluru Bulls over four minutes of the game and multiple raids before they opened the scoring via a do or die raid from Aditya Shinde.
The Warriors kept tapping away at regular intervals to keep the Bulls at arm’s length, before a super raid from Neeraj Narwal turned it into a close encounter. The Warriors eventually led 14-11 at the half-time.
They extended their lead a few minutes into the second half, Maninder Singh effecting an all out to put them 8 points clear at 23-15.
However, the Bulls slowly inched their way back into the contest thereafter. With six minutes to go, they got an all out sof their own to reduce the margin to two and with three minutes left to play, the teams were locked at 28 apiece.
In the last minute of the game though, Vishwas’ raid and Darpan’s tackle ensured the Warriors edged to a win.
Paltan beat Pink Panthers
Earlier in the day, Puneri Paltan got off the blocks well as they raced to a 6-3 lead when Iranian all-rounder Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh trapped Ajith Kumar in the sixth minute.
However, the Panthers clawed their way back into the game through their raiders. Arjun Deshwal was a constant threat to the Paltan defence, but it was Kumar who made the difference as he got the better of Abinesh Nadarajan and Mohit Goyat in a superb raid to inflict the all out in the 14th minute.
The Panthers had a comfortable 14-10 lead and it was the first time they had taken the lead in the game.
Deshwal went on to grab points in each of his next three raids to ensure the Panthers held on to their four-point lead at the half-time interval.
He resumed where he left off as he picked up two points in the very first raid of the second half to bring up his PKL career’s 36th super ten.
Just when it appeared that the Panthers were in the ascendancy, Puneri Paltan mounted a solid fightback. Inamdar starred with a two-point raid to reduce the opposition to two men and Shadloui followed it up with an iron-clad double thigh hold on Deshwal to inflict an all-out.
With 25 minutes played, Puneri Paltan had reduced the deficit to two points at 21-23. A couple of successful raids from Inamdar and a huge tackle from Sanket Sawant on Kumar saw them draw level at 25-25 in the 30th minute.
The men in orange dictated terms thereon as frequent points from Shadloui, one from a tackle and one from a smart pursuit raid, saw Puneri Paltan bag yet another all out. They then enjoyed a healthy six-point lead with five minutes left on the clock.
Deshwal put up a valiant effort to bring his side back into the game, but there was little he could do as Inamdar brought up his Super 10 and led Puneri Paltan to victory on his captaincy debut.