Dabang Delhi moved to the top of Pro Kabaddi standings with a convincing 35-24 victory over in-form Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Patliputra Sports Complex in Patna on Monday.
Raiders Naveen Kumar (12 points) and Chandran Ranjit (10 points) starred for the Delhi side to flatter the best defence in Pro Kabaddi so far.
Jaipur, who were the only unbeaten side in the league, having won all their four matches so far worked themselves into a 7-4 lead after seven minutes with raiders Deepak Niwas Hooda and Deepak Narwal calling the shots.
However, Dabang Delhi’s defence rose to the occasion to level the score at 9-9 in the 13th minute of the match. Delhi’s star raider Naveen Kumar then picked up points in back-to-back raids to leave Pink Panthers on the brink of an all-out that was inflicted in the very next raid when substitute Nilesh Salunke was tackled.
Having trailed for the most part of the first half, Delhi went in with a 17-10 lead at the break. Deepak Hooda made a great start to the second half scoring a super raid in 22nd minute to reduce the deficit to just two points, but Naveen Kumar kept chipping the points in his raids to maintain Delhi’s advantage.
Delhi raider Chandran Ranjit the produced a match-defining moment when he removed four Jaipur Pink Panthers in one raid to inflict a second all-out on them.
Hooda made an instant response by scoring two points in his raid but with Delhi having a healthy lead to protect, their defence began to dominate the Jaipur raiders. Delhi kept their composure to close out the win and climb to the top of the standings at the Pink Panthers’ expense.
Puneri Paltan post second successive win
Anup Kumar-coached Puneri Paltan recorded a second straight win when they edged out last year’s finalists Gujarat Fortunegiants 33-31 in a closely-fought encounter in the second game on Monday.
Pune’s raiders troubled the famed Gujarat defence all evening, helping their side eke out their first-ever win over their opponents in Pro Kabaddi.
Fresh from their win over Patna Pirates, Pune started brightly with Pawan Kadian picking up four points early on to give them a 6-4 lead after 8 minutes. However, Gujarat stormed back through raiders Rohit Gulia and GB More who picked up six points in four raids.
Manpreet Singh’s side eventually forced an all-out on Puneri Paltan in the 14th minute to take a 15-9 lead in the contest. However, Pune fought back to make it a half-time scoreline of 14-17 in Gujarat’s favour.
Substitute Pankaj Mohit caused Gujarat plenty of problems at the start of the second half as they were all-out in the 22nd minute to hand the initiative to Puneri Paltan who then led 20-18.
Gujarat could never really tighten their defence beyond that point as Pune preserved their slender lead by picking up crucial points in their raids at regular intervals.
Raider Sachin kept Gujarat alive with his raiding heroics picking up 9 points in the game but Pune held out thanks to late heroics from Girish Ernak who brought up his high five.
With the win, Pune climbed to ninth spot in the table while Gujarat dropped to fourth place.
The Patna leg will resume on Wednesday with Tamil Thalaivas taking on UP Yoddha before Patna Pirates’ clash against Haryana Steelers.