The stadium was largely empty on the first day of the Pune leg of the Pro Kabaddi league here on Friday. It's perhaps because it is the last set of matches here with little significance before the playoffs. Five teams have already qualified and there's only one place now for zone-B.
Or maybe because it rained - heavily, hours before, and drizzled, minutes before, the start. Though it never at any point seemed as incessant or baleful as it had been in Mumbai. The Mumbai rains had forced a couple of matches to be re-scheduled.
Anyway, there was a cluster of saffron-clad supporters in matching traditional Marathi turban - it's called a "Pheta" - who rejoiced every point that the saffron-clad home team Puneri Paltan scored in the first match of the day.
Which is to say there was little to rejoice for the Paltan, which went down 20-44, from 7-17 in the first half, to Gujarat Fortunegiants - abysmal, by any standard.
But then it might not be as hurting, for the Paltan has already qualified for the playoffs. The Fortunegiants too.
Already at the bottom of zone-B, Tamil Thalaivas sunk deeper, losing 30-34 to the zone-topper Bengal Warriors in the second match of the day.
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