The Puneri Paltan came up with a strong 40-31 win over the UP Yoddhas at the Noida Indoor Stadium on Wednesday, following Jaipur Pink Panthers’ 45-34 win over the Haryana Steelers in the Pro Kabaddi League.

Puneri Paltan recorded their sixth victory in a row, with Mohammadreza Shadloui Chiyaneh’s brilliant defensive nous saw him log 7 points as captain Aslam Inamdar took 11 to keep his team at the top of the table.

In an electric, high scoring first half, it was the Paltans who started off quicker, not just logging quick raid points but also ensuring the Yoddhas’ Pardeep Narwal did not log any points for the first 10 minutes of the game. The Paltan inflicted the first all out in the first five minutes to take a 10-4 lead.

The setback woke the Yoddhas out of their slumber, and despite Narwal’s inability to log points, they crawled back into the game.

Narwal soon started to pile on the points, logging in his first two points of the game in quick succession in the last five minutes of the half, before displaying a remarkable bit of strength to single handedly inflict an all out on the Paltan and drag the score to 20-18.

The Paltan did not let that setback hurry them into changing strategy, and they kept up their game plan and the lead through the second half. In a back and forth period though the Yoddhas kept them on their toes, and despite going down in numbers stayed within two points.

A super tackle with five minutes turned the game into a nailbiter, but almost immediately the Paltan killed the game off. They inflicted a second all out with barely two minutes left to take a seven-point lead, and then Akash Shinde pitched in with a super raid to seal the tie.

Pink Panthers beat Steelers

Defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers rode on Arjun Deshwal’s raiding brilliance as they beat Haryana Steelers by 11 points.

Deshwal (14 raid points), Reza Mirbagheri (seven tackle points) and Ankush (five tackle points) were the top performers for Pink Panthers, while Chandran Ranjit (11 raid points) and Mohit Nandal (five tackle points) were Haryana Steelers’ best players on the night.

There was a surprise in both teams’ starting lineup as Haryana Steelers raider Chandran got his first game of the season, while Rahul Chaudhari was named in the Jaipur Pink Panthers squad. The two veteran raiders began the proceedings for their teams and Chandran was off to a good start as he struck in each of his initial raids.

It was only a matter of time before Deshwal joined the party, and when he did, he quickly swung the momentum in Jaipur Pink Panthers’ favour.

Deshwal played an instrumental role in the first all out as he escaped Mohit’s ankle hold and then landed a back-kick on Mohit Nandal and then Chaudhari tagged Rahul Sethpal soon after to put his side ahead 17-13 with a little over four minutes to go. He then completed his Super 10 within the first half as his men went into the break with a healthy lead.

Haryana Steelers got off to a superb start in the second half and some solid work from Mohit and Chandran got the side within the cusp of an all out, but super tackles from Lucky Sharma and Reza helped the Jaipur Pink Panthers stay afloat.

However, Chandran produced a multi-point raid in the 29th minute to finally grab the all out. The Haryana Steelers trailed only by one point at 28-29 and were within touching distance of a comeback, but Deshwal dashed their hopes.

Deshwal, who was the most successful raider last season, got Mohit and Rahul first and then came back to oust Jaideep Dahiya and Vinay to lead his side to another all out. Pink Panthers led by 9 points with four minutes to go and had the game in the bag. The match ended with Bhavani Rajput escaping Jaideep’s grasp as the Jaipur Pink Panthers notched up their fourth win in five games.