Pro Kabaddi: Puneri Paltan win their second match of the season
Puneri Paltan started the home leg on the right note with a 33-28 win over Dabang Delhi. Both the teams had been knocked out of the tournament before this match, but they put up a spectacle for the fans. Jitesh Joshi scored 10 points in his team’s win, while Kashiling Adake put up a brave fight by scoring 9 points in a losing cause.
In this dead rubber match, Puneri Paltan started the better of the two in front of their home fans by taking a 4-2 lead by the 6th minute after restricting Kashiling Adake and with the help of successful raids from Wazir Singh and Jitesh Joshi. They say that you can’t cage a wild animal too long, and that is exactly what happened as Kashi unleashed his fury by returning with 3 points to help Delhi take the lead (5-4).
This proved to be a springboard for the Dabangs, as they completed an all out on the home team in the 10th minute when Kashi, once again, tagged both the remaining Pune defenders in his raid to make the scoreline 4-12 in Delhi’s favour. However, backed by a frantic Pune crowd, the home team reduced the deficit to just 3 points with 5 minutes to go in the half by winning 5 straight points after the revival.
The momentum swung again at this juncture as Dabang Delhi outscored the Paltans 6-2 in the final 5 minutes to end the half with a 7-point lead (11-18). Kashi top scored in the half with 6 points, while Jitesh, 4, was Pune’s highest scorer of the half.
A brilliant second half for the home team
The home team made it a 3-point game in the first couple of minutes as they completed an all out on the visitors to trail by just 3 points. Both the teams exchanged points for the next few minutes as Sanjay Kumar and Kashiling Adake kept on scoring points for their teams. By the 30th minute Delhi were leading 23-19.
The home crowd were in for a treat for what was to unfold in front of them in the next 5 minutes. Puneri Paltan scored 6 unanswered points to take the lead for the first time this half in the 34th minute. They completed an all out in the next minute when Jitesh Joshi returned successfully from his raid to increase the home team’s lead to 4 (28-24).
The Dabangs reduced the home team’s lead to just 1 point after Shrikant Tewthia won 2 points for his team in the 36th minute, but Pune coach Ashok Shinde called a timeout to calm his players down. This worked extremely well as the Paltans held on and completed a 33-28 win to get their second win of the tournament.
Man of the match: Jitesh Joshi