An error by substitute Mahipal Narwal, the rival raider in the second last raid of the match enabled Puneri Paltan to snatch a 28-28 draw against leaders Patna Pirates in Season 3 of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi at the Patliputra Sports Complex. Sent in to just go in and come back with an empty raid, Mahipal Narwal never understood the message from his captain. He thought it to be a do-or-die raid ventured deep and paid the penalty. Puneri Paltan equalised and then both the teams shut shop to settle for a division of points.
The result helps Patna Pirates to take their tally to 46 points in 10 matches and still remain at the top. Puneri Paltan displaced Telugu Titans with 22 points by virtue of a better score difference to occupy fourth place. This was the second draw between the two teams. Puneri Paltan had held the leaders at Pune.
The hosts started on a positive note by inflicting an all-out on their rivals for an 11-5 lead in the 10th minute. It was Rohit Kumar who after getting out initially boosted their tally with help from Pardeep Narwal. Both had three points each in the first half. Rohit Kumar’s India teammate Deepak Hooda was in the forefront for Puneri Paltan. He too bagged three raiding points but the other attackers, Surendra Singh and Ajay Thakur were not as effective.
Puneri Paltan came back strongly in the second half when they got their opponents all-out in the 26th minute and also narrowed down the deficit to 19-20. Captain Manpreet Singh with two bonus points tried to keep Patna Pirates afloat but his rival Manjeet Chhillar and Deepak Hooda succeeded in their designs.
With Pardeep Narwal getting snared it became 20-20 and from there on both sides battled to wrest the ground inch by inch and at the same time taking care not to cede an inch to the other. Rohit Kumar must be commended for his grit and determination and so must be Manjeet Chhillar. Deepak Hooda too was not far behind. Rohit Kumar with a two pointer brought his team level 24-24. He then put his side up at 26-24 but it was not his team’s day. Even then a tackle by Iranian Hadi Oshtorak gave a window for the leaders at 28-27 only to let it slip in the end. Mahipal Narwal committed the error but he cannot be faulted as he was drafted late and hardly had any time to have a feel of the situation.