Bengal register comeback win against Pune, Delhi thrash Telugu in PKL 8
The Warriors beat Paltan and now need last day win to qualify for playoffs.
Bengal Warriors made a remarkable comeback in the second half to beat Puneri Paltan 43-36 in match 127 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8. The Season 7 champions were trailing by 10 points at halftime but overcame that margin to beat Pune who are fighting for a playoffs spot. Maninder Singh scored a Super 10 (11 points) for Bengal while Mohit Goyat was the top-scorer for Pune with 15 points. With 61 points in 21 matches, Pune will now need to win their final day encounter against Jaipur Pink Panthers to clinch a playoff spot.
Puneri Paltan dominated the first half with their raiders Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar doing the bulk of the work. Bengal’s experienced defence had no answers for the skilled Pune raiders who picked easy points. Mohit Goyat’s 5-point raid in the 5th minute gave Pune their first ALL OUT of the match. That opened an 8-point lead and allowed the Pune raiders to slow down the match.
A few mistakes from the defence helped Bengal slowly pick points. Nitin Tomar then joined the raiding attack and contributed with valuable points for Pune. It almost seemed like a practice match with Bengal offering very little resistance. The first half ended with the scores 20-10.
Bengal Warriors reminded everyone of their quality in the early minutes of the second half. Maninder Singh started picking up raids points while at the other end Mohammad Nabibakhsh clinched a stunning Super Tackle. They also ensured Pune’s top raiders were sent to the bench. The scores were 27-24 in favour of Pune with 10 minutes remaining.
Sanket Sawant and Sombir clinched Super Tackles for Pune but they eventually succumbed to an ALL OUT with 5 minutes remaining in the match. That gave Bengal the lead for the first time in the match. Pune once again levelled the match with Mohit picking up crucial raid points. The scores were 32-32 with 3 minutes to the final whistle. Maninder Singh and Mohit Goyat picked up their Super 10s in the process.
But with 2 minutes remaining Rohit clinched a 3-point Super Raid to shift the balance once again to Bengal’s side. Sukesh Hedge followed that with another 3-point Super Raid for Bengal to reduce Pune to just 1 player on the mat. The Warriors used that momentum to inflict a last-minute ALL OUT on Paltan and win the match by a 7-point margin.
Delhi thrash Telugu to warm up for semifinal
A collective effort from Dabang Delhi K.C.helped them beat Telugu Titans 40-32 in match 128 of PKL Season 8. With the second-place finish already confirmed, Delhi were relaxed on the mat and gave their youngsters a chance to experience the limelight. The likes of Neeraj Narwal and Manjeet had a great outing and ensured the Titans never really had a chance to cause an upset.
Titans’ disappointing season came to an end with just 1 win in 22 matches. Ankit Beniwal scored 10 points for the Titans who will now need to rebuild the squad in the summer.
Telugu Titans started the match on the front foot with their raiders Rajnish, Adarsh and Ankit Beniwal chipping in with points. They had Delhi down to three men on the mat by the 5th minute but Manjeet Chhillar produced a Super Tackle to kickstart a Delhi comeback. Raider Ashu Malik and all-rounder Vijay found errors in the Telugu defence with a few pacy raids.
Delhi played with the confidence of a side guaranteed of a top-2 finish in the PKL 8. And they got an ALL OUT with 2 minutes to half time to widen their lead to 8 points. The Titans kept trying to invoke errors from the Delhi defence despite the ALL OUT. At the interval, the scores were 19-14 in Delhi’s favour.
There was no urgency on the mat with both teams well aware of their destiny. The Titans were out of the playoff fight while at the other end Delhi knew the 2nd place was fixed. Young raiders Manjeet and Ashu Malik carried out the attacks for Dabang as they slowed the pace of the match. Titan’s left-corner Muhammed Shiyas picked a High 5 after two Super Tackles to stop an ALL OUT. The scores were 27-20 with 10 minutes remaining.
Neeraj Narwal’s 2-point raid initiated Delhi’s push for a second ALL OUT in the PKL match. They eventually clinched it with 5 minutes remaining to once again open the lead to 10 points. Delhi’s coach Krishan Kumar Hooda made a lot of changes to his squad to preserve his top players from injuries. The players combined to ensure there were no hiccups in the final minutes.