Dabang Delhi 20-38 Puneri Paltan: Tough loss for the Eagles
It was Day 5 of the third season of the Pro Kabaddi League and the second match of the day saw Dabang Delhi take on another side who were yet to register a win so far – the Puneri Paltan. Buoyed by the signings of Manjeet Chhillar and Ajay Thakur, the side from Pune looked to get past a Delhi side that suffered two losses in their opening two matches.
In front of a packed house at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, the two teams went all out to pick up their first wins of the campaign. It was Deepak Niwas Hooda who opened the Paltan’s account after picking up a couple on his very first raid. Delhi then showed some great defense to equalize at 3-3 after stopping Hooda first and then Ajay Thakur in successive raids.
The Pune side then picked up three in a row and the scoreline soon read 7-4, but two raids from Kashiling Adake brought a point each and the gap was reduced to just one point. Then, thanks to a Deepak Hooda raid, who scored 9 points in total, and some coordinated defending, the Paltan skittled out the Delhi side to reel in seven points, including two due to an all out, making the score 14-6.
The Delhi men returned to the mat but another superb raid from Ajay Thakur garnered his side a further point. Surjeet Singh of Dabang Delhi then salvaged two points through a raid, which was followed by a point each for successful raids by Yogesh Hooda and Rohit Chaudhary. At half-time, the scoreline read 16-9.
Pune were faster out of the blocks in the second half as they picked up two quick points. Delhi's captain Ravinder Pahal then scored his first tackle point of the game, which was supplemented by a couple in the following raid.
It was 20-13 now and it looked as though the young and energetic Delhi side would claw their way back, but another blitz from the Pune side saw the gap open up to 11 points. Deepak Hooda was the key man for the Paltan as his incessent raids helped his team control the match , with the score at 25-14 at the 34-minute mark.
Delhi’s South Korean import Seong Ryeol Kim picked up two points in a single raid and the side from the capital also had a super tackle in their favour, but another seven point streak from the Paltan saw them take a comprehensive 34-19 lead after a second all out. Tushar Patil then conjured up a super raid with his team’s last attack before another successful defense on the buzzer raid ended the game 38-20 in favour of the Puneri Paltan.