Puneri Paltan produced a composed performance to beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 43-33 in a Pro Kabaddi match in Pune on Saturday.
Nitin Tomar was the lead raider for the Pune side (Super 10 with 11 raid points), but the defence more than lived up to its billing with Surjeet Singh and Balasaheb Jadhav picking up High 5s in a total domination by the hosts.
Puneri Paltan dominated the entire first half, as they produced an all-round performance to thwart the advances from the Fortunegiants.
The Paltan raiders had Gujarat’s cover combination of Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal out in the early minutes and last season’s finalists struggled to recover from the early setback, succumbing to an all-out in the ninth minute.
Pune continued to pile on the pressure, with Manjeet impressing in his raids and in defence, and nearly inflicted another all-out in the dying minutes of a first half that ended 24-10 in favour of the home team.
The second all-out was secured immediately after the second half started as Pune piled on the pressure.
In defence, Balasaheb Jadhav had an outstanding game and secured his High 5 with a Super Tackle on Sachin with 8 minutes left in the clock.
Gujarat managed to inflict an all-out on Pune with less than three minutes to the final whistle but it was too late for a comeback as the Pune defence held firm to clinch their first victory in the home leg.
The win lifted them to the ninth place while Gujarat stayed in the eighth spot thanks to their superior score difference.
Steelers march on
Vikas Khandola was yet again the star of the show for Haryana Steelers as they beat Tamil Thalaivas 43-35 in the second game on Saturday.
Khandola clinched a Super 10 (13 points) for Rakesh Kumar-coached Steelers who were given stiff competition by the Thalaivas in the mid-stages of the match. Rahul Chaudhari clinched a Super 10 (10 raid points) for Thalaivas but it was yet another disjointed performance from the star-studded line-up which meant they remained at the bottom of the points table.
Tamil Thalaivas went into the match on a seven-match losing streak and not so surprisingly it was the Haryana team who dominated the early minutes. Khandola, ably supported by Vinay, fetched raid points for the Steelers as the closed in on an all-out.
The error-prone Thalaivas defence gave away silly points but there was a fight in them that had been invisible in the previous matches. The Chennai-based unit finally succumbed to an all-out with six minutes left to the half-time as Haryana moved to a six-point lead.
But the Thalaivas came out with renewed energy after the restart, with Manjeet Chhillar and Mohit Chhillar looking good in defence. Rahul Chaudhari also got into the act, picking up his 100th raid point of the season, as the Thalaivas reduced Haryana’s lead to two points at half time (16-14).
Chaudhari clinched a four-point raid in the first minute of the second half to inflict an all-out on the Steelers. But Vikas Kandola upped his game to open up the lead once again for Haryana after the all-out.
Just when Haryana were edging close to inflicting another all-out, Thalaivas’ Victor Obiero produced a stellar raid and a Super Tackle to keep them in the game.
Unfortunately for the Thalaivas, Ajith Kumar wasn’t having the best of games in the attack, and the lack of support for Chaudhari finally showed when Khandola’s four-point raid with under six minutes remaining gave Haryana another all-out.
Vinay’s three-point Super Raid gave a cushion that the Haryana team managed to cling on. The victory consolidated their third position on the table.
On Sunday, league leaders Dabang Delhi face Gujarat Fortunegiants before home side Puneri Paltan take on Patna Pirates.
|RANK||TEAM||MATCHES PLAYED||WON||LOST||DRAW||Score Difference||POINTS|
|1||DABANG DELHI K.C||14||11||2||1||56||59|
|6||JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS||15||7||7||1||0||42|