Puneri Paltan put up a clinical performance in front of a packed Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, to register a 43-38 win over Dabang Delhi K.C. in the first game of the evening on Tuesday. Akash Shinde and Mohit Goyat both got 13 points in a super performance while Fazel Atrachali's impeccable defending ensured the home team condemned Delhi to a fifth straight loss.
After trading a pair of empty raids, on a Do-or-Die raid, Mohit Goyat brought the Pune crowd to its feet, with a Super Raid to touch out Krishan, Anil Kumar, Vijay Kumar, which put the Paltan in the lead. That single raid set the tone for a majority of the half, as Paltan ran riot on a porous Delhi defence low on confidence. The first ALL OUT came in the first five minutes, as Pune extended their lead to 10-3.
Despite a slow-building Delhi resistance, Paltan got a second ALL OUT to surge into a huge lead and seemingly locked up the game. Dabang Delhi were out of sorts, and with the crowd firmly behind the home team, looked up against it completely. Slowly though, they clawed back the lead, Naveen Kumar finding his feet to catch out Fazel Atrachali and Gaurav Khatri to bring them back into the game. They went into the break trailing 23-17, but with only two Pune players left on the mat.
Delhi reduced the gap with an ALL OUT of their own, reducing the lead to three points and from there, it was a game too close to call. Akash Shinde's Super Raid on Anil Kumar, Vijay Kumar and Ravi Kumar wrested back Pune's initiative. Within minutes though, Delhi's captain and the league's leading raider Naveen, finding a Super Tackle out of nowhere to get Delhi back in the game.
However, Paltan's third ALL OUT of the evening thrust them into a 35-29 lead. The Puneri players kept their cool in the key moments to take the win in front of a raucous home crowd.
Best Raider - Akash Shinde (13 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Sombir (4 Tackle Points)
Dabang Delhi K.C.
Best Raider - Naveen Kumar (14 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Ravi Kumar (3 Tackle Points)
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