CHENNAI: The unbeaten streak of Tamil Thalaivas under head coach Ashan Kumar ended on Wednesday as the southern team went down to Puneri Paltan by the narrowest of margins in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 nail-biter in Pune.
Just three days after losing 34-35 to Thalaivas, Puneri came up trumps 35-34 to exact revenge. The ‘home’ team inflicted the game-changing ‘All Out’ in the penultimate minute as table-topper Paltan returned to winning ways. For the Pune side, captain and left corner Fazel Atrachali led from the front with a ‘High 5’ on a night when he created history.
The experienced Iranian became the first defender to breach the 400 tackle point-mark in Pro Kabaddi history. Super substitute Akash Shinde (10 raid points) was a point of positive difference after coming off the bench while Aslam Inamdar (6 points – 4 raid points and 2 tackle points) contributed in both offence and defence.
For the Tamil Nadu team, which tasted defeat for the first time in six matches under Ashan, Narender (10 raid points) and cover defender M Abishek (5 tackle points) stood out.
After a conservative start from both teams, Thalaivas bagged the first ‘All Out’ of the match to hold a five-point (14-9) advantage. At half-time, TT had a six-point (18-12) cushion and looked set to extend its unbeaten run to seven games.
But, Puneri, with splendid support from the crowd at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, had other others. Paltan stayed within touching distance in the second period and surged ahead to 34-30 with an ‘All Out’ in the 39th minute. Although Thalaivas secured four points in double quick time, Puneri did enough to secure the win. Earlier, Bengaluru Bulls recorded a 36-33 victory over Haryana Steelers.
RESULTS: Tamil Thalaivas 34 lost to Puneri Paltan 35; Bengaluru Bulls 36 bt Haryana Steelers 33