Puneri beats Jaipur to go top
HYDERABAD: Puneri Paltan’s winning streak showed no signs of abating as it brushed aside Jaipur Pink Panthers 39-31 in Season 9 of the Pro Kabaddi League here on Wednesday.
This is Puneri’s 11th win in 17 matches and the victory saw it cement its position at the top of the table with 64 points. As has been the trend this season, Puneri’s win was once again fashioned by an all-round performance. In the raiding department, the usual suspects Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat and Akash Shinde did what was expected of them, and in defence, its captain, Fazel Atrachali, made his presence felt with an assured display.
Puneri effected its first ‘All Out’ in the 17th minute and went into half-time with a slender four-point lead at 20-16. Upon the match’s resumption, however, the gulf in class became evident as Puneri inflicted second ‘All Out’ in 23rd minute. Puneri kept increasing its lead as the match wore on without much fuss.
Jaipur defence failed in keeping Aslam quiet and in one particular ‘Do or Die’ raid, his acrobatic skills were amply demonstrated as he earned two points in a gravity-defying move. Puneri coach, BC Ramesh, lauded his team’s collective performance. “Ours is a balanced team. If any of our main raiders is having an off-day, we can fall back on other options. That is the driving force of this team,” opined Ramesh.
Puneri’s win on Wednesday also ensured that its skipper Fazel went on to become the most successful captain in the league. However, the complete team-man that he is the 30-year-old Iranian downplayed the significance of the milestone.
“I am obviously delighted with this record. I am glad that my team listens and follows my advice. This is a team game and without their support, I could not have achieved this,” mentioned Fazel. Fazel added that he and his team regarded the match against Jaipur as just another one and not as anything special.
In the evening’s second match, Bengal Warriors pulled off a 41-38 win over Bengaluru Bulls. The win lifted Bengal to fifth in the table with 48 points, while Bengaluru remained at second with 58 points. Bengal’s Maninder Singh fetched his team 12 points and received good support from Shrikant Jadhav who earned nine points.
In defence, left corner Girish Maruti Ernak tapped into his experience to win some crucial tackle points and had six in total. For Bengaluru, raider Bharat got 10 points but his effort went in vain.
RESULTS: Puneri Paltan 39 bt Jaipur Pink Panthers 31; Bengal Warriors 41 bt Bengaluru Bulls 38