Patna in semis after a narrow win

Pirates lead the table after notching its ninth win in 12 games. Jaipur Pink Panthers, Telugu Titans and U Mumba occupy the next three spots. Paltans, which has lost six ties, is fifth.

Pune raider Ajay Thakur tries to wriggle free from Patna defenders.   -  PTI

Patna Pirates kept itself in the running for title defence with a hard-earned 31-28 win over Puneri Paltans at the NSCI complex here today.

Pirates lead the table after notching its ninth win in 12 games. Jaipur Pink Panthers, Telugu Titans and U Mumba occupy the next three spots. Paltans, which has lost six ties, is fifth.

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Pardeep Narwal and Bajirao Hodage put on a masterly show for the visitor whereas Deepak Hooda scored the most (8 points) for the local side.

Hooda was made the captain in the absence of Manjeet Chillar in Paltan's squad. Hooda's men combined well to catch Rajesh Mondal. The Pirates raider slipped and turned to elude the first catcher, only to be pushed out of the zone by a bunch of players rushing from the left.

Dharmaraj Cheralathan-led Pirates punched a hole in Paltan's confidence by dismissing the home team in the 14th minute, with the loan boosting the visitor ahead at 14-6.

Paltans faced a tough task in the second half, trailing 10-15 at the break, struggling to defend. Pardeep Narwal had bagged six raid points for Pirates and was a menace for the local side.

Paltan's Somvir Shekhar kept the resistance going with a super tackle. But Pirates inflicted the second all-out in the 29th minute to confirm a three-point win and a place in the first four.

Bengaluru tames U Mumba

Bengaluru Bulls sneaked to a nail-biting win by one point over host U Mumba in the second game on Saturday night, the 13th tie for both sides. The final score was 28-27 in favour of the Bulls which move up into sixth spot. The home team remain fourth.

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