Both the teams showed some top class skills on the mat.
Maninder Singh was the star for defending champions Bengal Warriors as they beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 41-22 in Match 75 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8. Captain Maninder scored 13 points and was supported by his entire team in securing a win that will improve their playoff chances. Jaipur’s Arjun Deshwal picked up 10 points but received very little support from his defence and offence.
Bengal coach B.C. Ramesh will take a lot of positives from the match, especially the performance of his much-maligned defence. Ran Sindh scored 4 points while Vishal Mane scored 2 points along with Abozar Mighani.
The first half was a cagey affair with both teams matching each other blow for blow. Jaipur were without the services of Deepak Hooda which meant more responsibilities on Arjun Deshwal in the raiding department. At the other end, Bengal’s Maninder Singh couldn’t produce his usual magic either as Jaipur defenders took a cautious approach. In fact, it was the secondary raiders who excelled in the first half of PKL match for the Warriors.
Sukesh Hegde and Anand V contributed with important raid points. Maninder Singh did however make a late impact and clinched a 2-point raid in the final minute of the half to shift the balance to Bengal. A last-minute tackle by Vishal Mane ensured the scores were 14-11 in favour of Bengal at the interval.
Kabaddi is a game of momentum and Bengal certainly had it with them early in the second half. Maninder Singh’s 2-point raid (+2 for ALL OUT) took out all the Jaipur men on the mat in the first minute after the restart. He then followed it with a 3-point Super Raid in the 3rd minute and secured his Super 10 by the 6th in PKL 8 match.
Jaipur defenders could only watch and admire the raider charge his way through them. Bengal got their second ALL OUT in the 7th minute to make scores 27-14. Even the usually reliable defenders Sahul Kumar and Sandeep Dhull struggled as Mohammad Nabibakhsh inflicted another ALL OUT with 3 minutes on the clock. The Warriors had a 20-point lead and even Arjun Deshwal’s Super 10 wasn’t enough to help Jaipur make a comeback.
Puneri Paltan crushed Dabang Delhi
Puneri Paltan thrashed Dabang Delhi K.C. 42-25 in Match 76 of PKL Season 8. The team from Pune dominated the mat right from the first whistle to inflict a morale-depleting loss on Season 7 runner’s-up Delhi. Mohit Goyat picked up 10 points for Pune (including 1 tackle point) while right corner Sombir clinched a High 5 (6 points).
Delhi were once again without the services of their star raider Naveen Kumar and experienced left corner Joginder Narwal. The lack of a Plan B, especially in the absence of these stars, has cost them dear in the recent matches with Vijay and Sandeep Narwal struggling to have the same impact in the raiding department.
Coach Anup Kumar’s decision to change the tried and tested corner duo of Vishal Bharadwaj and Baldev Singh paid rich dividends as Sombir and Karamvir impressed. The team from Pune got their first ALL OUT in the 10th minute and then followed it with another in the 18th to open a 13-point lead. Delhi had just 2 tackle points (as opposed to Pune’s 8), thanks to a Super Tackle by Sandeep Narwal, in the first half which ended 25-13 in Pune’s favour.
Neeraj Narwal and Sandeep Narwal showed glimpses of their potential for Delhi but the first 10 minutes after the restart belonged completely to the youngsters of Pune. Dabang brought in Mohammad Malak in a bid to strengthen the defence but that didn’t stop Pune. But the Paltan raiders continued the good work while their Delhi counterparts struggled. Pune got their third ALL OUT in the 7th minute after the restart and opened a 19-point lead by the 10th minute.
Sombir got a High 5 for Pune as they maintained the lead in the dying minutes of the match. Delhi had no answers for Pune’s high-intensity kabaddi as Anup Kumar’s men clinched a very important win to keep them alive in the playoff race.