PKL 2017 | Puneri Paltan’s solid defense helps them beat Dabang Delhi

PKL 2017 | Puneri Paltan’s solid defense helps them beat Dabang Delhi

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PKL Media

Rajesh Mondal and Deepak Niwas Hooda’s supreme tactical play during raids supported by a solid defense ensured a 26-21 victory for Puneri Paltan in the second game of the day at Nagpur. Both the teams employed a defensive approach, but eventually, Pune managed to come out on top.

Pune’s defense keeps Delhi at bay

Winning the toss, Deepak Niwas Hooda chose the court, which meant that Delhi would raid first. Pune got off to a good start as they raced to a 3-0 lead thanks to some incredible offense from Rajesh Mondal and stoic defence by Pardeep Narwal. However, Delhi came back strong as they made it a one point game at 3-4. But Pune kept their noses in front as Rajesh Mondal managed a raid point to go up 5-3 before successfully handling a do or die raid which took Pune’s lead to 8-4. A lot of Delhi’s struggle in the game had to do with the fact that their star raider Meraj Sheykh had spent most of the first half on the bench, but Pune’s defence had completely nullified his impact on the game when he was on the mat and with that, Pune went into the first half with a four-point lead as the scorecard read 11-7. 

Rajesh Mondal and Deepak Hooda ensure a comfortable win for Pune

Pune started the second half with a bang as Mondal managed a super tackle to extend Pune’s lead to 13-8. But Delhi managed a bonus point of their own to reduce the deficit to 11-13. And they levelled things up at 13-13 when Sheykh held Mondal back to complete a super tackle for Delhi. In the next raid for Delhi, Shubham Palkar managed a bonus point but the luck lady was not with him as he was dashed out of the mat as Paltan inflicted the first all-out of the game on Delhi to go 19-14 up in the game. With just under 10 minutes to go in the second half, Delhi had a five-point deficit to try and erase with the score at 21-16. Over the next five minutes both sides exchanged a few points, but most importantly, Delhi had a six-point lead at 24-18 thanks to a smart raid from Hooda. At that point in the game, time management was always going to be crucial and Pune’s experienced trio of Dharmaraj Cheralathan, Sandeep Narwal, and Rajesh Mondal ensured that their side didn’t do anything unnecessary and thereby maintained their lead at 26-18. Finally, with just over two minutes to go in the game, Dabang Delhi secured three points, but Delhi eventually registered a comfortable win with the final score at 26-21.

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