Pro Kabaddi: Bengaluru Bulls hand Puneri Paltan 11th loss in final group game
Puneri Paltan suffered their 12th loss of the group stage on the final match of the league stage. Bengaluru Bulls edged out the home side 31-30 as they warmed up for the semi-finals with the help of Rakesh Narwal and Deepak Dahiya. Two Tamilians – Sachin V. and Ravi V. – starred for Puneri Paltan, but could not pull their side over the line.
After the home team won the first point through Sachin V., Deepak Dahiya won 2 points for the Bulls, while Kenyan Simon Kibura was tackled in his first raid of the match as the visitors established a 3-1 lead after 3 minutes. Paltan’s raider Ravi V. levelled the score by winning 2 points in his 5th minute raid.
The Bulls were down to 3 men in the 7th minute when Manjeet Chhillar was caught, but they trapped Manoj Kumar in a super tackle to take the lead again at 6-5. However, the Paltan seized the initiative and completed an all out on the Bulls by outscoring the visitors 8-1 with the help of a brilliant defence and Ravi’s raids and after 12 minutes, the home team led 13-7.
The next minute witnessed the best raid of the match when Rakesh Narwal used his agility to win 3 points for the Bulls, which started a comeback for the visitors. Manjeet Chhillar enforced an all out on the home team with a successful raid in the 17th minute and with this, the Bulls took the lead. In the final 3 minutes, both the teams won 3 points each as the Bulls led the home team 19-16 at half time.
Puneri Paltan suffer third consecutive home loss
The Bulls started the second half with a tackle point and continued their good run to lead 23-17 after 25 minutes. However, buoyed by a packed Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Kalimithu Balamahendran started a revival for the Paltan with a super raid in the next minute. By the 30th minute, the Bulls’ lead was cut short to just 1 point after Rakesh Narwal’s unsuccessful raid which resulted in the scoreline reading 25-24 in favour of the visitors.
Ashish Kumar helped the visitors increase their lead to 3 points in the 35th minute as the home team trailed 25-28. Kalimithu delivered yet again to make it a 1-point match with 4 minutes to go in the match. Pardeep Narwal was tackled as both teams were tied at 28 each with 2 minutes to go in the match and Bengaluru Bulls were down to 3 men.
Bala was caught in a super tackle in the subsequent raid for Bengaluru Bulls to lead by 2 points in the 39th minute. Sachin V. smartly tagged Manjeet Chhillar to make it a 1-point game with less than a minute to go. However, in a do-or-die raid Bulls’ young raider Deepak scored a point and despite Sachin winning a point for his team, it was not enough as Puneri Paltan suffered a 30-31 loss, their 12th of the campaign.
Bengaluru Bulls finished on 3rd place and set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash with Telugu Titans while U Mumba will face Patna Pirates in the other semi-final. Puneri Paltan end the home leg with 3 consecutive losses despite a winning start to the leg.
Man of the match: Sachin V