PKL Season 8: Pune win big courtesy Mohit Goyat, Delhi go top of table
Mohit Goyat scored his first-ever super 10 in the league.
Puneri Paltan’s youngsters produced a mature performance to beat the experienced Gujarat Giants 33-26 in Match 34 of vivo Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru. Mohit Goyat clinched a Super 10 (10 points) for Paltan, his first in PKL, and was ably backed by all-rounder Aslam Inamdar (8 points) as the team moved away from the bottom of the points table. Gujarat’s coach Manpreet Singh will ask questions of his defence which failed to show up once again. The Giants’ only relief came in the form of their raiders Ajay Kumar (10 points) and Rakesh S (8 points).
The match was going to be all about how the experienced defensive line-up of Gujarat handled the young Pune raiders. And it was the latter who started well with Mohit Goyat particularly impressive. Aslam Inamdar and Vishwas S supported Mohit as Pune got their first ALL OUT in the 10th minute of the PKL encounter.
Left corner Girish Ernak hardly spent time on the mat while Gujarat right corner Ravinder Pahal suffered a knee injury while making a tackle. Pahal’s injury brought Hadi Oshtorak to the mat, but the Iranian wasn’t given an opportunity to settle by Mohit Goyat. Pune’s raider picked up 8 points in the first half that ended 19-13 in the team’s favour. At the other end, Rakesh scored 7 to keep his team alive in the contest.
Pune started the second half with the same intensity and got their second ALL OUT in the fifth minute. Gujarat’s experienced defenders struggled to cope with the intensity of Pune’s youngsters. Aslam Inamdar and Vishwas contributed with successful tackles too as the all-rounders ensured Pune maintained a 5-point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the PKL encounter.
Ajay Kumar secured a Super 10 for Gujarat Giants but Pune kept finding points with Aslam Inamdar shining. With 5 minutes on the clock, Pune had an 8-point lead. Parvesh Bhainswal produced two Super Tackles to give Gujarat a glimmer of hope in the final minutes, but the lead proved too much for the Giants to overcome.
Naveen Kumar once again proved to be the big difference as Dabang Delhi K.C. narrowly beat Telugu Titans 36-35 in Match 35 of vivo PKL Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, Bengaluru. The star raider scored 25 points for Delhi, who were lucky to come out with a win after Titans’ Rajnish founding gaping holes in the defence. The Telugu raider scored 20 points for the side. The result helped Delhi maintain their unbeaten run in Season 8 and regain top spot on the points table.
The first half saw Telugu Titans matching Dabang Delhi K.C. blow for blow. Naveen Kumar got off to a flying start, picking up points at will. But Titans raider Rajnish kept piling the pressure on Dabang defence that were showing signs of weaknesses.
The inability of Titans’ defenders to stop Naveen Kumar, who rushed to a Super 10, meant Delhi stayed in the game for the longest time. But Rajnish produced a stunning Super Raid (3 points + 2 for ALL OUT) to help Titans take a lead with 6 minutes remaining to half time.
Rajnish kept finding open corridors in the Delhi defence by easily faking directions. But captain Joginder Narwal identified the problem and encouraged cover defender Manjeet Chhillar to close the gaps. The scores were even at half time (18-18), but most importantly Naveen was off the mat after Titans’ Surinder Singh produced a Super Tackle on him in the PKL encounter.
Naveen didn’t stay off the mat for long though and he wreaked havoc in the Titans defence to get Delhi an ALL OUT in the fifth minute of the second half. But Surinder Singh once again tackled Naveen Kumar to allow Titans an opportunity to reduce Delhi’s lead. Rajnish scored his Super 10 and then produced three consecutive 2-point raids to reduce Delhi to just one man on the mat. But that one man was Naveen Kumar who kept finding errors in the Telugu defence to prevent an ALL OUT.
With under 5 minutes remaining, Delhi had a 2-point lead and Rajnish produced arguably the best move of the match. He dragged Jeevan Kumar and Deepak with brutal power to the half-line and gave Titans the ALL OUT they craved. But with the scores level, Naveen once again proved his class by securing 2 points in a last-minute raid which the Titans could not overturn.