It was a statement of intent from Puneri Paltan as they recorded a historic win over their bitter rivals

With more than points – pride and bragging rights -- at stake, Puneri Paltan delivered a stellar performance to beat U Mumba 41-19 in the first Maharashtra derby of the fourth season of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League. Ajay Thakur was the star for Pune as he delivered crucial blows to U Mumba with three super raids in the first half. U Mumba looked completely out of sorts.

It’s early days but Puneri Paltan sit atop of the league table with two wins out of two games. It was a historic win for Puneri Paltan as they recorded their first ever win over their bitter rivals U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi League. To add insult to injury, it was also U Mumba’s heaviest defeat in the Pro Kabaddi League.

Puneri Paltan looked in ominous form from the start and came out of the blocks quickly in the first half as they inflicted four super raids with Ajay Thakur leading the charge. U Mumba were star-crossed in the first half and it took them 15 minutes to score their first tackle point. Thakur scored his first super raid in the 5th minute and followed up with his second four minutes later to assert Puneri Paltan’s dominance. Manjeet Chhillar also scored with a super raid and also commanded his defence superbly at the back. In the dying seconds of the first half, Thakur got his Super 10 as he scored with another raid to give Puneri Paltan a commanding 26-10 lead.

U Mumba are known for pulling off miraculous comebacks but tonight wasn’t their night, as Puneri Paltan didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal. Anup Kumar tried his best to revive his team’s hopes and scored eight points but his efforts went in vain. In the fourth minute of the second half, U Mumba inflicted their first super tackle of the game led by Rakesh Kumar’s charge. Anup Kumar then scored with a super raid in the 9th minute of second half to reduce the deficit to 14 points.

Puneri Paltan, led by Manjeet Chhillar, were relentless in attack and defence. With less than five minutes to go, Puneri Paltan inflicted another all out on Mumba to stretch their lead to 20 points. They inflicted six all outs, four super raids in what was a terrific all-round performance from the Paltan. Thakur ended the night with 14 points to win the raider of the match award. It was a statement of intent from Puneri Paltan as they showed determination to deliver a knockout blow to their rivals.