Patna Pirates begin title defence emphatically
Mumbai : Defending champions Patna Pirates produced a clinical performance to beat Puneri Paltan and launch their campaign in style at the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League here.
Looking to record a third successive win, Puneri Paltan were brought down to earth by Pirates.
Surjeet Singh scored seven raid points and Fazel Atrachali marshalled the defence impecabbly as Patna Pirates produced an excellent all-round performance to record their first win of the fourth season of Pro Kabaddi League.
Puneri Paltan remain top of the league with 11 points after three games but couldn’t break their jinx against the Patna Pirates.
This encounter has a history of close games with two ties in the third season and this match was no different as both teams started cautiously. For the Pirates, Surjeet Singh scored four points with his first five raids. With less than two minutes to go, Pradeep Narwal came up with a do-or-die raid and the Pirates followed it with an all out in the next minute to ensure they went into the break with a six point lead with the score 16-10.
Ajay Thakur, who put in a marvelous performance against U Mumba on Sunday, started slowly as he couldn’t score any point in the first half. Even Manjeet Chhillar, their captain and go-to man for Puneri Paltan couldn’t score a single point in the first half.
Chhillar and Puneri Paltan began the second half brightly. Pune skipper opened his account with his first tackle and raid in the second half. Nitin Tomar scored with a do-or-die raid in the sixth minute as Chhillar got another point with a tackle as Puneri reduced the deficit to a single point. But the Pirates showed why they’re defending champions and inflicted a super tackle and super raid in the next two minutes to restore their six-point lead to 22-16.
With five minutes left on the clock, Nitin Tomar scored two bonus points as they cut Pirates’s lead to two points.
Puneri Paltan’s defence let them down as they missed several opportunities to force a super tackle. With less than four minutes to go, Pirates inflicted an all out to lead 29-21. Puneri Paltan salvaged a point in the last three minutes as they reduced the deficit to six points. But it was Patna Pirates who continued their unbeaten run over Puneri Paltan and produced a clinical performance to win the game 30-24.