New Delhi:Puneri Paltan have booked their place in the semi-finals of the ongoing Pro Kabaddi League following their stunning 36-33 victory over Bengaluru Bulls here at Thyagaraj Sports Complex last evening.
Pune were trailing by as many as nine points but came back strongly to notch an extremely crucial win. Manjeet Chhillar scored the most tackle points by a defender in a match as he scored 11 points.
Deepak Niwas Hooda scored first point for Puneri Paltan in the second minute. Rohit Kumar replied with a raid of his own to level the score at 1-1. Puneri Paltan led 5-1 after five minutes as their raiders scored points at will. Rohit Kumar was sent off the court in seventh minute as Pune led 6-1 and Bengaluru Bulls looking in disarray. Bengaluru Bulls inflicted a super tackle in the ninth minute as they trailed 3-6. It was 9-5 in Pune’s favour after 10 minutes and an all out loomed large over Bengaluru. However, they came back strongly and cut the lead to just one point as they trailed 9-10 after 12 minutes.
Bengaluru Bulls led for the first time in the match with a tackle point and doubled the advantage as Rohit Kumar scored to give his team 12-10 lead. Pune crumbled under pressure and suffered an all out in the 16th minute as they trailed 10-16. Bengaluru Bulls turned the game on its head as they led 19-12 after 18 minutes and Pune’s hopes of qualifying for semi finals disappearing with each passing minute. Bengaluru finished the first half strongly and led 21-12 at the break.
Pune needed the points quick and scored three points in three minutes to trail 15-21. Manjeet Chhillar attained a high five in 25th minute and led from the front to revive Pune’s hopes. Pune continued to cut the lead with each tackle and raid and inflicted an all out in 28th minute to trail 22-23. With Rohit Kumar struggling to get raid points, Bengaluru lost their attacking edge and Pune capitalized on it. It was a stunning turnaround in the first 10 minutes of second half as Pune scored 12 points and Bengaluru Bulls just three.
With eight minutes left, Deepak Niwas Hooda scored with a two-point raid as Puneri Paltan led 28-24. Puneri Paltan inflicted another all out in 34th minute as they led 32-26. With less than two minutes to go, Manjeet Chhillar scored with a crucial tackle point as Puneri Paltan led 35-31. Puneri Paltan kept their calm in the last minute and won 36-33. (ANI)