Pune, September 14, 2019: Puneri Paltan began their home-leg with a smashing win against Gujarat Fortune Giants. Home team Puneri Paltan produced a composed performance to beat Gujarat Fortunegiants 43-33 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi, Pune, on Saturday.
Nitin Tomar was the lead raider for the Pune side (Super 10 with 11 raid points), but the defence more than lived up to its billing with Surjeet Singh and Balasaheb Jadhav picking up High 5s in a total domination.
Puneri Paltan had a storming start to the match, dominating the entire first half, as they produced an all-round performance to thwart all the advances from the Fortunegiants. Nitin Tomar, returning from a knee injury, started the proceedings for the Pune side, while in defence, Girish Ernak, who had been given a rare start after a dip in form, proved he is back to his mean best, pulling off two strong tackles in the early minutes.
The Paltan raiders had Gujarat’s cover combination of Sunil Kumar and Parvesh Bhainswal out in the early minutes and the season’s finalists struggled to recover from the early setback, succumbing to an All-Out in the ninth minute. Pune continued to pile on the pressure, with Manjeet impressing in his raids and in defence, and nearly inflicted another All-Out in the dying minutes of a first half that ended 24-10 in favour of the home team.
The second All-Out was secured immediately after the second half started as Pune piled on the pressure. Pankaj Mohite took over the chief raiding duties in the second half and the young raider shouldered the responsibility without ever giving a feeling that he is in his Rookie season with the VIVO Pro Kabaddi. In defence, Balasaheb Jadhav had an outstanding game and secured his High 5 with a Super Tackle on Sachin with 8 minutes left in the clock. Gujarat did manage to inflict an All-Out on Pune with less than three minutes to final whistles but it a little too late for a comeback as the Pune defence held firm to clinch their first victory in their home leg.