Led by that boyish looking Pardeep Narwal and the crafty Rohit Kumar Patna Pirates raided with aplomb and looted points galore to rout Puneri Paltan 40-21 to enter the finals of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. The unfinished argument between the two teams in the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi where they played out two heart stopping draws finally ended with the Patna Pirates defence also coming to the party. The Pune side was all-out on three occasions in the match. The first two came in the first 12 minutes of the match.
This was in all probability the best team performance ever seen in this tournament too date. The all-out assault launched by the winners was so severe that Puneri Paltan literally lost heart after they trailed 7-25 at the break. They did come back for a brief period in the second half to inflict an all-out on their rivals but that was all they could manage.
It all started with Pardeep Narwal targeting rival skipper Manjeet Chhillar with his first raid with a touch. It was Pardeep Narwal’s guile versus the Puneri Paltan defence and every time he came up trumps in the first 15 minutes. His 6 point super raid with four victims and two for the second all-out was the best show by a raider till date and more importantly it came at a crucial juncture. As the Patna Pirates defence too started hacking the rival raiders one after the other the crowd was stunned and so was Puneri Paltan. They didn’t realize what exactly hit them.
The match was almost over in the first half itself. Puneri Paltan seemed to have found out a way for a brief while as Manjeet Chhillar came up with three good tackles to arrest the top three from Patna Pirates, Rohit Kumar, Pardeep Narwal and Manpreet Singh in a row. That act was responsible for the only all-out Puneri Paltan could inflict. But two successful do-or –die raids by Pardeep Narwal and Rohit Kumar brought the Patna Pirates side back on track.
The point tally for Patna Pirates which reads as follows sums up the success story. A super ten for Pardeep Narwal before he was rested with a minor injury, seven to Rohit Kumar with a tackle point and in defence Sandeep Narwal (5), Vinod Kumar(4), Sunil (3) and D Suresh Kumar (2) showed the intent with which they subdued the rival attackers.
Puneri Paltan’s attack was so toothless that it never bothered their rivals. Ajay Thakur scored his first point in the 32nd minute and that was his only raid point. Surendra Singh failed to open his account and Manjeet Chillar scoring just two speaks poorly of their attack. The toll of qualifying had taken its toll and Puneri Paltan paid the price but hats-off to the winners who came with a plan and executed it to the tee.