Patna Pirates through to Star Sports Pro Kabaddi Season 4 final
The first of the two semifinals was a keenly contested battle between reigning kings Patna Pirates and a determined Puneri Paltan. The team from Pune did a good job of staying the course with Patna, but Iranian defenders Fazal Atrachali and Hadi Oshtorak proved their worth with a sensational performance to help their team into the final for a second season running. The Pirates took a 37-33 victory to await the winner between Telugu Titans and Jaipur Pink Panthers in the final.
Prolific allrounder Deepak Niwas Hooda took the first point of the semifinals when he managed to draw a bonus point but Pune conceded two points on the turn to get the match off to a fiery start.
Pune went ahead though on another point from Deepak, only to slip back again on a brilliant raid by Surjeet Singh, who resisted the strength of two Puneri players to get his hand over the line.
The game heated up when Parmod Narwal showed speed and agility to garner three points on a super tackle. Pune jumped ahead 9-6 but their joy was shortlived.
Hadi Oshtorak was substituted in and he combined with ace defender Fazel Atrachali to produce a couple of super tackles to turn the tables. Soon Patna built on the change in momentum to gain a four point cushion at 15-11.
Pune did a good job from there to slow down the game, but Patna ended the half on their terms tackling Nitin Tomar to the ground on the break, for a 16-13 lead.
It was five against four after the break, with Patna enjoying the advantage on the mat. Rajesh Mondal drew Patna farther by escaping the clutches of Manjeet Chillar.
Pune caught a second wind when Joginder produced an incredible advanced tackle, grabbing Modal by the waist. They also got Ravinder Pahal off the mat to reduce Patna to just two men.
But the Pirates produced the goods yet again to revive Pardeep and Kuldeep Singh. Just as it was getting close again at 20-18, the men from Patna produced the fourth super tackle of the match to gain a four point cushion.
Somvir Shekhar had been pivotal for Pune on the right and he showed that again with an ankle hold to tackle the bulky Rajesh to the mat. It was six of Pune against three of Patna and the Paltan needed to clean up their opponents to gain control of the contest.
The match took a significant turn when Fazel Atrachali collected a yellow card and was removed off the mat. Pune finally got the Pirates off the mat to gain a 25-22 lead.
Pune was testing nerves with a series of advanced tackles very close to safety, but they were making an unbelievable collective effort to pin down the raider and snap up the arms.
The Paltan enjoyed a four point cushion with eight to play at 27-23. Patna showed strength by clawing back to within a point, but there was increasing acrimony on the mat.
The referee turned down Kuldeep’s wild gesticulations suggesting an elbow press on his raider. Rajesh won a three point raid from there, amidst wild accusations of foul play on both sides. Patna was back in front 35-32 when they cleaned Paltan off the mat with only 78 secs left on the clock.
As Pune ran out of time, there was an increasing sense of desperation. The defending champions took full advantage to draw away to a 37-33 victory and enter the finals of the Pro Kabaddi League season 4.