Puneri Paltan 32-22 Dabang Delhi; Dhull, Pahal shine in Eagles' loss
Dabang Delhi suffered a 22-32 loss at the hands of Puneri Paltan in Jaipur. Sandeep Dhull scored 6 defensive points while Ravinder Pahal performed admirably, but Jasmer Singh Gulia’s top-notch defending (6 points) and Deepak Hooda’s all-round effort ensured the Paltan moved into the top 4 ahead of home side, Jaipur Pink Panthers.
The Paltan started well, racing into a 3-0 lead after trapping Kashiling Adake and Tushar Patil’s successful raid, which yielded 2 points. However, good defending and youngster Selvamani K’s raid restored parity by the 6th minute. This evenly-contested tie saw both the teams exchange points and the score was tied at 6 each after 12 minutes of action at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.
Manjeet Chhillar’s side roared into the lead in the final 10 minutes of the second half and in the process, inflicted an all out on the Eagles. Deepak Hooda’s adventurous raids and Jasmer Singh Gulia’s rock-solid defence were the architects behind the all out as the Paltan established a 9-point lead at half-time.
HT: Puneri Paltan 16-7 Dabang Delhi
Kashi got the first point of the second half as the Eagles soared high and chipped away at Pune’s lead bit by bit. By the 25th minute, Dabang Delhi’s deficit was down to just 4 points and the Puneri Paltan to 3 men on the mat. However, Ashok Shinde brought star raider Ajay Thakur on and he delivered immediately with 2 points while Surjeet Singh failed in a do-or-die raid as the Paltan increased their lead to 7 points.
Ravinder Pahal took matters into his own hands, literally, by stopping Hooda in a super tackle while executing a dubki to perfection to win 4 points for his team in less than a minute. This not only prevented an all out, but also got the Paltan on the verge of one as the crowd were left biting their nails.
The Paltan reduced the Alphas to just 2 men, but the Delhi captain conjured up a super tackle on his counterpart to make it a 6-point game with 3 minutes to go. Surjeet reduced the deficit even further, but the Paltan not only shut up shop, but came back strong to inflict an all out on the Eagles in the final minute.
FT: Puneri Paltan 32-22 Dabang Delhi