Puneri Paltan will look to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they face Dabang Delhi K.C. on Friday at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports, Rai in Sonepat. With a draw against U Mumba in the Maharashtra Derby and a win over Haryana Steelers in the following game, Puneri Paltan carry good momentum heading into the second leg of the campaign.
Dabang Delhi K.C. will be hoping to kickstart their season and open their Sonepat leg with a win. With their next match scheduled to take place on the 18th of October, Dabang Delhi K.C. would hope to have a victory in their bag before their six-day break.
Match 12, Zone A: Puneri Paltan vs. Dabang Delhi
Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 7 - 3 Dabang Delhi. 1 tie
Puneri Paltan have had a strong start to their Season 6 campaign and are currently on top of Zone A on score difference. They rallied late into the day to secure a draw against arch-rivals U Mumba and followed it up with an excellent performance to score a win against Haryana Steelers. Raider Nitin Tomar has had an outstanding start to the season, scoring 22 raid points in just two games. Raiders More GB and Deepak Kumar Dahiya also had good outings against a defensively-astute Haryana Steelers. The three raiders combined for 18 points in their second game and Puneri Paltan will hope that these three can maintain their form over the course of the campaign.
Dabang Delhi K.C. kicked-off their season with a tie against Gujarat Fortunegiants in an even contest. Raider Chandran Ranjit came of the bench to score a team-leading 10 points, with seven touch points, two bonus points and he even managed a tackle point, in what proved to be an all-round performance. Raider Pawan Kumar Kadian also came off the bench to score three touch points for his team. The substitutes combined to score 16 out of the 32 points that Dabang Delhi K.C. managed in the game, displaying the depth that the squad possesses. Defender Ravinder Pahal and captain Joginder Singh Narwal managed three tackle points each in a good outing for the duo. With a host of players contributing and Meraj Sheykh also in the team, Dabang Delhi K.C. are certainly a force to be reckoned with this campaign.
The big battle
Nitin Tomar vs. Ravinder Pahal
Nitin Tomar’s fine form has been key to Puneri Paltan’s stellar start this campaign. For Dabang Delhi to have a shot at beating Puneri Paltan, it will be key for them to contain Tomar. Defender Ravinder Pahal will be tasked with the job of keeping Tomar in check and while it is no easy feat, the experienced Pahal is certainly capable of doing so. Winner of the Best Defender award in Season 2, Pahal is one of only five defenders with over 200 tackle points and the Diving Thigh Hold specialist is capable of neutralising any raider on his day.
Girish Maruti Ernak – Puneri Paltan
Captain Girish Maruti Ernak has led the way in defence for the Puneri Paltan with six tackle points in two games. Ernak’s leadership as well his role as the Left Corner will be crucial in Puneri Paltan’s bid to win their first VIVO Pro Kabaddi title.
Meraj Sheykh – Dabang Delhi
The highest-scoring all-rounder in Season 5 of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, Meraj Sheykh has been a major player for Dabang Delhi K.C. in the past two seasons. The Iranian’s form will be crucial to his side’s fortunes in this campaign.