Patna Pirates 28-28 Puneri Paltan: Another entertaining draw between two heavyweights
Match number 33 saw hosts Patna Pirates take on the new-look Puneri Paltan side at the Patliputra Sports Complex, Patna. The match ended 28-28 as the two teams played out their second draw of the season; their earlier encounter last week also ended in a thrilling draw. Rohit Kumar scored 8 touch points for the home side with Deepak Niwas scoring 7 touch points for the visitors.
The hosts Patna Pirates drew first blood by getting Deepak Niwas Hudda out to start the proceedings of the match. However, it was the visitors who took 3 straight points through their skipper Manjeet Chhillar and Surjeet to give them a 3-1 lead in the early stages.
Rohit Kumar scored 2 straight touch points in the next two raids to level the score for the home side. And then, this season’s star raider Pardeep Narwal took the game away from Pune, scoring 2 points in a single raid to give the home side a 3 point lead by the end of 9 minutes in the first half.
Patna Pirates’ skipper Manpreet Singh made it a 6-point game with a spectacular super raid in the very next minute. A series of brilliant tackles from the Iranian international Hadi Oshtorak gave the home side some breathing space with 4 minutes left in the first half.
Deepak Niwas Hudda got a raid point to reduce the deficit for the visitors but the Pirates' Pardeep Narwal and Rohit Kumar continued to get touch points to end the first half 16-11 in favour of the home side.
HT: Patna Pirates 16-11 Puneri Paltan
Manpreet Singh continued his fine form into the second half with 2 consecutive successful raids to widen the gap between the two teams. However, the visitors continued to apply pressure on the Panta’s defence line, Deepak Niwas Hudda and Tushar Patil getting back 3 raid points to reduce the deficit to 5 points.
The applied pressure from the visitors began to weaken the home side. Eventually, Patna suffered their 1st all-out of the match to make it a 1 point game with 14 minutes left to play in the second half.
Surender Singh and Rohit Kumar continued to score points for their respective teams with the lead being exchanged in the next few minutes. At the end of 34 minutes, Patna led by just a point with the visitors smelling an upset at the Patliputra Sports Complex.
Both the teams made a cautious end to the game as the scores were level with 3 minutes left on the clock. Hadi Oshtorak made a solid ankle hold on Deepak Niwas Hudda to give the home side a slender lead, but Mahipal Narwal returned the favour in the very next raid.
Both the teams looked settled and satisfied with a draw and played out the remaining time without taking any further risks. The two teams played an entertaining draw just a week back and now too, they produced a brilliant match for the neutrals to witness.
FT: Patna Pirates 28-28 Puneri Paltan
You can catch the highlights of the match, presented by hotstar, below: