Chennai, August 21, 2019: Puneri Paltan came out all guns blazing on the Bengaluru Bulls with a power-packed score of 31-23. The team concluded Chennai leg with a bang and put up an impressive show.
Only 16 points separated the top and the bottom teams in the points table going into the match, and Pune’s victory, thanks to an incredible performance from their defence, showed how close the competition is, in what is turning out to be a very competitive season.
A heavily bandaged Surjeet Singh in the centre was the leader (6 tackle points) in the defensive unit for Puneri Paltan, giving no room for the Bulls’ raider, Pawan Sehrawat, to play. Sagar Krishna came in for the struggling Girish Ernak as coach Anup Kumar made the changes to a faltering Pune side while the Bengaluru Bulls went in with an extra defender in the line-up buoyed by the performances of their two raiders in Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar.
It was Paltan who had an impressive start, consistently tackling Bengaluru Bulls’ raiders, with Sagar Krishna justifying his inclusion with an incredible body block on Rohit Kumar six minutes into the match. The defensive units matched each other tackle for tackle, as the raiders, including Pune’s Nitin Tomar struggled to impress. A low-scoring, heavy tackling, first half, ended with scores even at 10-10.
Bengaluru’s decision to play just two raiders backfired as Paltan’s stellar defence thwarted any raider who ventured into their territory. Pune, coached by the ‘Bonus ka Badshah’ Anup Kumar, also ensured Rohit Kumar and Pawan Sehrawat did not get their bonus points easily. The team inflicted the game's only All-Out on Bengaluru Bulls in the sixth minute of the second half to open up an 8-point gap.
Manjeet’s clever raids in Do-Or-Die situations were also vital for Pune as they raced to a two-digit lead. The defence held firm, as Surjeet Singh completed a personal milestone of 250 points in Pro Kabaddi League, and secured a very important victory. Puneri Paltan’s riveting performance now places them at the 10th position in the points table.
Puneri Paltan with their impressive victory is all geared up for the upcoming leg in Delhi. The team to take on UP Yoddha on 26th Aug 2019. Fans can catch all the action on Star Sports Network and Hotstar.