Pro Kabaddi PKL 8: Puneri Paltan wins Maharashtra derby, Bengal Warriors ousts Tamil Thalaivas

Puneri Paltan hammered U Mumba in the Maharashtra derby, while Bengal Warriors climbed to the ninth spot after beating Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8) on Thursday.

Puneri Paltan

U Mumba raider Abhishek Singh is taken out by the Puneri Paltan defence during Thursday's Pro Kabaddi League (PKL 8) match.   -  PKL

Puneri Paltan earned bragging rights as it cruised to a to a 42-23 win over U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi League's (PKL 8) Maharashtra derby on Thursday.

Left-cover Vishal Bhardwaj and all-rounder Nitin Tomar picked up High 5s for Puneri Paltan, which jumped to 10th on the points table. U Mumba simply failed to show in raider Ajith Kumar's absence as no one in the team managed to shine.

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The first half of the game was dominated by Puneri Paltan with Aslam Inamdar and Nitin impressing in their raids. After a cautious start to the match, Nitin produced a stunning three-point Super Raid in the 13th minute to initiate Pune’s charge for an All Out. The side clinched it eventually with four minutes to interval and opened a four-point lead. U Mumba looked jumpy and did little to stop Puneri Paltan.

Abhishek Singh, the side's lead raider, failed to get going as the first half ended 18-10 with Puneri Paltan in the lead.Aslam starred with a three-point Super Raid soon after the restart and his side got its second All Out in the fourth minute of the second half.

Puneri Paltan opened up a 17-point lead with 10 minutes remaining as Vishal and Baldev Singh ensured the corners remained raid-proof. The side bagged another All Out soon after and sped away to claim a fine win against a listless U Mumba side.

- Bengal Warriors ousts Tamil Thalaivas -

Defending champion Bengal Warriors earned a morale-boosting 37-28 victory. Warriors' captain Maninder Singh got a Super 10 (12 points) while defenders Amit Narwal and Ran Singh controlled the defence. The victory helped Bengal Warriors snap its losing run and also ended Tamil Thalaivas six-game unbeaten run.

Tamil Thalaivas started on the front foot with its defensive combination of Surjeet and Sagar tackling Maninder . That set the tone for the initial minutes with Manjeet raiding sensibly at the other end. But Amit produced a stunning Super Tackle in the fifth minute to change the balance of power.

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The defending champion built on the momentum and quickly reduced Tamil Thalaivas to two men on the mat. Surjeet produced two Super Tackles to pick up his High 5 but Bengal Warriors eventually got the All Out with seven minutes to the interval. Tamil Thaliavas kept looking the more proactive side despite trailing and introduced super-sub Ajinkya Pawar to add more fire in the raiding department. The half ended 20-16 in favour of Bengal Warriors.

The first 10 minutes of the second half was a cagey affair with both teams playing it safe. Tamil Thalaivas couldn’t conjure its usual magic in the defence while Manjeet found it tough in the raids.

Ran Singh, returning to the mat after a long injury layoff, produced a stunning tackle in the left corner for Bengal Warriors to inflict another All Out. Bengal Warriors opened a 11-point lead with seven minutes remaining as Amit reached his High 5. The reigning champion saw off the remainder of the game to take home all five points on offer.

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