PKL: Paltan downs Pirates, Panthers edges Yoddha

It was a one-sided affair right from the beginning and even as Pune tightened its control on the proceedings, Patna dismantled, struggling to score every point.

Pune's win was a complete team effort, with every player who took the mat scoring points.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Coming into Sunday's game, there was little to choose between Puneri Paltan and Patna Pirates, either in terms of results or individual performances. But, all that changed as Pune's all-round brilliance overwhelmed Patna for a 47-42 victory in the Pro Kabaddi League here.

It was a one-sided affair right from the beginning and even as Pune tightened its control on the proceedings, Patna dismantled, struggling to score every point. The only one standing between the two-time defending champion and a humiliating loss was captain Pardeep Narwal, who scored a massive 19 points in 24 raids, but there was only so much even he could do.

Patna also suffered its first loss of the season in the process even as Pune got its first-ever win against Patna in five seasons but, more than the defeat, it would be the manner in which it came that would rankle it.

Pardeep, the key to Patna's hopes, was one of only two players to manage a decent score for Patna along with Vinod Kumar. The latter had to be carried away towards the end after getting injured. Pune raced away to a massive 14-point lead in the first 13 minutes that saw Patna getting all-out twice in a space of five minutes.

READ: Scorecard and play-by-play commentary

At 13-25, Pune had a huge 12-point lead at half time. Patna tried to fight back but every time Pardeep clawed out some crucial points, the rest of his team squandered it with shoddy tackling. After a point in the second half, he was practically the only one going out for raids and coming back with points.

Pune's win, on the other hand, was a complete team effort. Every player who took the mat scored points, including the substitutes. If Deepak Hooda, Rajesh Mondal and Sandeep Narwal raided successfully, the team's foreign signing Zia-ur-Rahman, Dharmaraj and Sandeep shone in defence.

Monu, who came in as a substitute, did both. It wouldn't be wrong to say the game was a Pardeep Narwal versus Puneri Paltan contest and the team outplayed the lone warrior. With three minutes to go, Pardeep's three-pointer saw the margin reduce to five points for the first time in the game and he got another in the final few seconds, but it just wasn't enough.

The day's other game saw host UP Yoddha suffer its third straight defeat at home, going down 24-22 right at the end despite leading for most of the game.

READ: Scorecard and play-by-play commentary

The results:

Puneri Paltan 47 (Rajesh Mondal 10, Deepak Hooda 9, Ziaur Rahman 6, Sandeep Narwal 5, Monu 5) bt Patna Pirates 42 (Pardeep Narwal 19, Vinod Kumar 7, Vikas Jaglan 5).

Jaipur Pink Panthers 24 (Tushar Patil 5, Nitin Rawal 5, Jasvir Singh 4) bt UP Yoddha 22 (Nitin Tomar 5, Rishank Devadiga 4).