Patna Pirates begins title defence emphatically

Surjeet Singh scored seven raid points and Fazel Atrachali marshalled the defence impecabbly as Patna Pirates produced an excellent all-round performance to record its first win of the fourth season of Pro Kabaddi League.

Patna Pirates and Puneri Paltan have had a few close encounters in the past.   -  PTI

Defending champion Patna Pirates produced a clinical performance to beat Puneri Paltan and launch its campaign in style at the Pro Kabaddi League here.

Looking to record a third successive win, Puneri Paltan was 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 its first win of the fourth season of Pro Kabaddi League.

Puneri Paltan remains at the top of the league with 11 points after three games but couldn’t break its 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 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 Pirates followed it with an all out in the next minute to ensure it went into the break with a six point lead with the score 16-10.

Paltan begins slowly

Ajay Thakur, who put in a marvellous performance against U Mumba on Sunday, started slowly as he couldn’t score any point in the first half. Even Manjeet Chhillar, its 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. Puneri 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; Chhillar got another point with a tackle as Puneri reduced the deficit to a single point. But Pirates showed why it is the defending champion and inflicted a super tackle and super raid in the next two minutes to restore its six-point lead to 22-16.

With five minutes left on the clock, Nitin Tomar scored two bonus points as it cut Pirates’ lead to two points.

Puneri Paltan’s defence let it down as it 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 it reduced the deficit to six points. But it was Patna Pirates which continued its unbeaten run over Puneri Paltan and produced a clinical performance to win the game 30-24.