Pro Kabaddi League: Notable absentees make Puneri Paltan and Patna Pirates wonder what might have been the result
Puneri Paltan and Patna Pirates played out the first draw of this season’s Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League as a thrilling finale led a 30-30 draw. Rampant as they have been, the Patna Pirates hit the ground running in enemy territory as hosts Puneri Paltan were all-out in the first ten minutes.
But an inspired comeback from Puneri Paltan had them hot on Patna Pirates’ heels until the last two minutes when Ajay Thakur’s two point-raid earned Puneri Paltan a draw.
The nerve-wracking encounter though didn’t have the full quota of superstars as Patna Pirates’ Sandeep Narwal and Rohit Baliyan and Puneri Paltan’s Deepak Niwas Hooda and Surjeet were absent from the action as they were away representing the Indian National team in the South Asian Games.
Both sets of camps were left to wonder what might have been as they grabbed their breath after the pulsating encounter.
“We were under a lot of pressure and playing at home, we had to send these fans home happy. I’m happy we did well despite missing key players like Surjeet and Deepak Niwas Hooda. If we had them today, we would have surely won the match,” Ajay Thakur told the media after the game.
Manjeet Chillar declared the draw as a win considering the two players the Puneri Paltan missed. “Patna Pirates is a great side. They have been in such a good form and we are the only team to stop them from winning. We were missing Deepak Hooda and Surjeet Singh, so without them this draw is like a win itself,” said Manjeet Chillar after the game.
The Patna Pirates’ camp happy with draw
“Two of our main players were missing today. Sandeep and Rohit have been superb for us in the past and in their absence a draw isn’t bad at all, if we had them we would have won this game, but it is alright, a draw is a good result,” Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan, the Patna Pirates Coach told the media.
Puneri Paltan and Patna Pirates are back in action today as the Pirates take on the struggling Dabang Delhi side, while Puneri Paltan face Jaipur Pink Panthers. Both the sides would be planning to cope without the superstars of theirs and go a step better and bag a win.