Pro Kabaddi: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-21; Keep semi-final hopes alive
Bottom-placed Puneri Paltan hosted Patna Pirates, who had a chance of qualifying for the semis if they beat the Paltan and got one over Jaipur Pink Panthers in the virtual quarter-final. Pune lost 21-38 to Patna as the Pirates kept their hopes alive of qualifying for the playoffs. Ravi Kumar tried hard by scoring 8 tackle points, but Sandeep Narwal starred for Patna by putting up an all-round performance while Suresh Kumar amassed 6 tackle points.
The visitors showed their intent from the start as they led 3-0 after 3 minutes with successful raids by Sandeep Narwal and Gurvinder Singh. Pune captain Wazir Singh scored a couple of points in the next raid as he reduced their deficit to 2-3.
In a do-or-die raid, Sandeep Narwal scored a point, but Sanjay Kumar was not so lucky as the home team trailed 5-2 after 7 minutes. Tae Deok Eom scored 2 more points for the Pirates as they got Pune on the verge of an all out, which Sandeep inflicted on the home team in the 10th minute which resulted in Patna leading 10-3.
A couple of unsuccessful raids in the 15th minute ensued as Patna maintained their 7-point lead over Pune. However, some good defending by the Pirates helped them increase their lead to 9 at the break. The scoreboard read Pune 6-15 Patna after a brilliant defensive performance by Girish Ernak and Suresh Kumar in the half.
Patna continue their dominance in the second half
The Pirates scored 10 straight points in the first 5 minutes of the second half as they increased their lead to 19 as they led 25-6 when the Sandeep Narwal-led Patna defence caught Wazir Singh. This stretch included a second all out on the home team in the 24th minute.
Pune won 3 points in a row, but Patna were relentless as they covered up those 3 points and added another through Gurvinder Singh to get the score to 28-8 after 30 minutes. In the 31st minute, Puneri Paltan caught Sandeep in a super tackle and they repeated the same against Gurvinder 2 minutes later to reduce their lead to 12-29.
The Patna captain restored the visitors’ lead to 20 again in the 36th minute through a successful raid. With Pune down to just 2 defenders, they conjured up another super tackle on Sandeep. Sanjay Kumar’s raid was unsuccessful and South Korean Tae Deok Eom enforced the third all out on the home team by tagging both the remaining Paltan defenders before returning to his half. With 3 minutes to go, the Pirates had their biggest lead of the match – 23 points (38-15).
Pune, like they did in their last match vs U Mumba, went on a 6-point run in the final minutes as they ended the match with the scoreline reading 21-38. Patna ensured they have a chance of qualifying for the semis with this win.
In their final match, the Pirates face Jaipur Pink Panthers tomorrow with the winner qualifying for the playoff, while Puneri Paltan will end their campaign vs Bengaluru Bulls. Pune will finish bottom of the table irrespective of the result in tomorrow’s match.
Man of the match: Ravi Kumar