In a high-scoring battle in Panchkula, Puneri Paltan got the better of Telugu Titans by a close margin of 53-50 on Thursday. With this defeat the Titans are now officially out of the race for the playoffs in the seventh edition of the Pro Kabaddi League with three of their games still to go.
The first half began with Puneri Paltan starting on front foot, looking unstoppable. Manjeet (12 points), Sushant Sail (11 points) and Surjeet Singh (7 tackle points) were the stars for the Pune side.
Telugu Titans were the only team playing for a playoff berth but it was Pune who showed more grit in a dominant first-half performance. Titans’ raider Siddharth Desai was successfully tackled by Manjeet in the very first minute and that set the tempo for Paltan as they picked raid points with ease. The Pune raiders, particularly Sushant Sail, exploited the lack of experience in Titan’s defence and picked points with ease.
The Pune side inflicted the first All-Out in the 6th minute of the match to move to a 7-point lead and continued their good work to secured another All-Out in the 14th minute to open a 14-point gap. The Titans did manage their way back through some strong raids by the Siddharth Desai but two Super Tackles (by Sushant Sail and Surjeet Singh) ensured they prevented an All-Out. Surjeet clinched his High 5 as the first half ended with the scores 31-16 with Pune well on top.
Sushant Sail started the second half with a massive 4-point Super Raid as Pune rushed to another All-Out in the third minute of the second half. Rakesh Gowda’s four-point raid in the fourth minute of the match gave the Titans some much-needed impetus to push for an All-Out, which they secured in the 9th minute of the second half.
Pune continued to approach ‘all guns blazing’ instead of seeing out the remainder of the time which allowed the Titans to clinch another All-Out with 6 minutes remaining to make it a 9-point game. The match became a tense affair in the closing minutes but a three-point Super Raid by Iranian Emad Sedaghatnia helped Pune open up a sizeable lead which their defenders could hold on to till the final whistle.
Puneri Paltan to take on UP Yoddha in their match in Greater Noida on 6th October 2019.