PKL: Puneri Paltan overcomes resurgent Telugu Titans

Despite an inspiring riposte from the Titans, which saw it narrow the lead to four points in the closing minutes of the match, Puneri Paltan prevailed in the end.

Paltan captain Deepak Hooda and Rajesh Mondal excelled in attack.   -  special arrangement

Puneri Paltan edged past a resurgent Telugu Titans 42-37 in an inter-zone challenge of the Pro Kabaddi League here at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Thursday.

Paltan enjoyed an authoritative hold over the action at the start as it raced to an 18-0 lead, getting Titans all-out on two occasions. The Pune-based side put an all-round show with Sandeep Narwal and Monu doing well in the defence while captain Deepak Hooda and Rajesh Mondal excelled in attack.

Scorecard and play-by-play details

Just when Paltan appeared to be nearing in on its third ‘lona’ (all-out) with a lead of 21-1, R. Elangeshwaran made a super-raid for Titans, getting four of the opposition tacklers out. This turned things around for Titans, which got its opponent all-out by the 15th minute to make it 10-23. Paltan though still had a clear advantage by the end of the first half leading it 26-12.

Titans' skipper Rahul Chaudhari had an average outing, as he managed just two points from 10 raids. Chaudhari, one of the best raiders in the country, appeared a pale shadow of his prime as he was repeatedly tackled by the Paltan defence.

However, he was a different prospect after the change of ends,  regaining his sharpness as he tore the Paltan defence apart picking up seven points from the next nine raids helping the Titans narrow the lead to four points in a matter of eight minutes.

Patlan, which once enjoyed a 15-point lead (39-24), saw the margin narrowed to 40-36 as Titans threatened to overrun it. But an astute use of the full time of the raids helped Paltan realise the win in the end.

The result: Puneri Paltan 42 (Deepak Hooda 9, Sandeep Narwal 7) bt Telugu Titans 37 (Rahul Chaudhari 9).

Dabang Delhi made a late comeback to hold host Bengal Warriors to a 31-31 tie in the second match played later in the evening. Bengal enjoyed a four-point lead (31-27) with two minutes remaining but Delhi made couple of successful raids and tackles to force the tie. This was the fourth tie in 14 matches for Bengal, which continued on top of Zone B with 45 points. On the other hand Delhi remained at the bottom of Zone A with 27 points with 10 matches.

The result: Bengal Warriors 31 (Maninder Singh 13) drew with Dabang Delhi 31 (Anand Patil 9).