Fazel Atrachali fulfilled two promises, one to beat Tamil Thalaivas and the second to catch Narender out for his 400th tackle point in vivo Pro Kabaddi, all in one game as Puneri Paltan beat Tamil Thalaivas 35-34 at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi in Pune on Wednesday. A complete team performance saw Atrachali get five points, while Aslam Inamdar racked up six.
Much like the first time these two met in the Pune leg, the Thalaivas were the ones off to a quick start and had raced into a lead very early. Puneri Paltan's raiders by contrast, struggled to make any impact, registering a mere seven points in the first half. The Thalaivas inflicted the first All-Out of the game to take a 14-8 lead.
The one silver lining for Puneri Paltan and the home fans came via Fazel Atrachali, who reached a personal milestone in the first half. Prior to their first encounter, the Iranian legend, then on 397 points, said he would love to make Narender his 400th tackle point and become the first defender to reach that milestone in the league. Alas, in a bruising first meeting it did not come to pass as Atrachali was stranded with just the one point in the game. Tonight, he got his 400th tackle point, and duly it came on a Narender raid. Despite that though, the Thalaivas went into the break leading 18-12.
That Atrachali milestone galvanised the Puneri Paltan defence in the second half, as the home team inched their way back into the game. In a high-octane game of kabaddi, neither team was prepared to give an inch to the other, and neither went too far ahead either. Atrachali got his High 5 with a tackle on Narender again as Puneri Paltan pulled to within four points with five minutes remaining.
Puneri Paltan came clutch in that period, inflicting their first All-Out of the game to surge into a 33-30 lead. With barely two minutes remaining, it seemed like Puneri Paltan had stitched up the perfect heist, only for a silly error right at the end, getting the Thalaivas to within one point, with two raids available. With their final raid, Puneri Paltan's Akash Shinde coaxed an error out of Sagar, and from there on, only one team was going to be the winner, as the crowd went into raptures.
Best Raider - Narender (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender - M. Abishek (5 Tackle Points)
Best Raider - Akash Shinde (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Fazel Atrachali (5 Tackle Points)
Where to watch vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 LIVE?
Catch all the LIVE action from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 on the Star Sports Network and LIVE streaming on Disney+Hotstar.