Pro Kabaddi: Bengal Warriors beats Jaipur Pink Panthers to go third, Puneri Paltan thrashes Dabang Delhi

Bengal Warriors beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 41-22 and Puneri Paltan defeated Dabang Delhi 42-25 on a day of one-sided matches in the Pro Kabaddi League 8 in Bengaluru on Monday.

Jaipur Pink Panthers captain and defender Sandeep Dhull tries to block Bengal Warriors captain and raider Maninder Singh in the Pro Kabaddi League 8.   -  PKL

Bengal Warriors beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 41-22 and Puneri Paltan defeated Dabang Delhi 42-25 on a day of one-sided matches in the Pro Kabaddi League 8 in Bengaluru on Monday.

In the first match of the evening, Maninder Singh was the star for defending champion Bengal Warriors as it beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 41-22. Captain Maninder scored 13 points and was supported by his entire team in securing a win that will improve his team's playoff chances. Jaipur’s Arjun Deshwal picked up 10 points but received very little support from his defence and offence.

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Bengal coach B.C. Ramesh will take a lot of positives from the match, especially the performance of his much-maligned defence. Ran Singh scored 4 points while Vishal Mane scored 2 points along with Abozar Mighani.

The first half was a cagey affair with both teams matching each other blow for blow. Jaipur were without the services of Deepak Hooda which meant more responsibilities on Arjun Deshwal in the raiding department. The youngster picked points, targeting cover defender Vishal Mane in the Warriors defence, but didn't get ample support from his teammates. At the other end, Bengal’s Maninder Singh couldn’t produce his usual magic either as Jaipur defenders took a cautious approach.

In fact, it was the secondary raiders who excelled in the first half for the Warriors. Sukesh Hegde and Anand V contributed with important raid points. Maninder Singh did however make a late impact and clinched a two-point raid in the final minute of the half to shift the balance to Bengal. A last-minute tackle by Vishal Mane ensured the scores were 14-11 in favour of Bengal at the interval.

Maninder Singh’s two-point raid (+2 for All Out) took out all the Jaipur men on the mat in the first minute after the restart. He then followed it with a three-point Super Raid in the third minute and secured his Super 10 by the sixth. Jaipur defenders could only watch and admire the raider charge his way through them. Bengal got its second All Out in the seventh minute to make scores 27-14.

Even the usually reliable defenders Sahul Kumar and Sandeep Dhull struggled as Mohammad Nabibakhsh inflicted another ALL OUT with three minutes on the clock. The Warriors had a 20-point lead and even Arjun Deshwal’s Super 10 wasn’t enough to help Jaipur make a comeback.

Puneri Paltan thrashes Dabang Delhi 42-25

In the second match of the evening, Puneri Paltan thrashed Dabang Delhi K.C. 42-25. The team from Pune dominated the mat right from the first whistle to inflict a morale-depleting loss on Season 7 runner’s-up Delhi. Mohit Goyat picked up 10 points for Pune (including 1 tackle point) while right corner Sombir clinched a High Five (6 points).

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Delhi was once again without the services of its star raider Naveen Kumar and experienced left corner Joginder Narwal. The lack of a Plan B, especially in the absence of these stars, has cost the team dearly in the recent matches with Vijay and Sandeep Narwal struggling to have the same impact in the raiding department.

Pune dominated the first half with an all-round performance. Its raiding trio of Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat and Nitin Tomar picked up quick points while its defence ensured Delhi raiders had no luck in its forays. Aslam’s versatility to raid on both sides coupled with the left-right combination of Nitin and Mohit meant the Delhi defence had no chance of finding its rhythm.

Coach Anup Kumar’s decision to change the tried and tested corner duo of Vishal Bharadwaj and Baldev Singh paid rich dividends as Sombir and Karamvir impressed. The team from Pune got its first All Out in the 10th minute and then followed it with another in the 18th to open a 13-point lead.

Delhi had just two tackle points (as opposed to Pune’s eight), thanks to a Super Tackle by Sandeep Narwal, in the first half which ended 25-13 in Pune’s favour.

Neeraj Narwal and Sandeep Narwal showed glimpses of their potential for Delhi but the first 10 minutes after the restart belonged completely to the youngsters of Pune. Delhi brought in Mohammad Malak in a bid to strengthen the defence but that didn’t stop Pune. The Paltan raiders continued the good work while their Delhi counterparts struggled.

Pune got its third All Out in the seventh minute after the restart and opened a 19-point lead by the 10th minute. Sombir got a High Five for Pune as it maintained the lead in the dying minutes of the match.

Delhi had no answers for Pune’s high-intensity kabaddi as Anup Kumar’s men clinched a very important win to keep them alive in the playoff race.

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