Patna Pirates handed Puneri Paltan a crushing 55-33 loss at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi in Pune on Sunday after extensive scoring by the visitors on either side of the mat. While the in-form Pardeep Narwal added another Super 10 to his tally, Neeraj Kumar stood out with a record-equaling 11 tackle points that never allowed the opposition to hit back.
While it was Puneri Paltan that took the early initiative with an early 7-3 lead, that witnessed Pankaj Mohite executing a Super Raid that got Jang Kun Lee, Jaideep and Monu out, Patna Pirates were quick to turn things around.
Pardeep Narwal got into the act with a two-point raid that got rid of Mohite and Neeraj Kumar got a Super Tackle on Nitin Tomar to level the scores at 7-all. Pardeep continued the assault along with some astute defending from Patna Pirates that soon saw the home team All Out and trailing 9-14.
At the reset, Patna Pirates didn't relent despite Mohite's two-pointer that got rid of Neeraj Kumar and Vikas Jaglan as Pardeep responded with his own two-point raid. Points were traded between the two teams but Pardeep soon reached his Super 10 and Neeraj claimed his High 5 which meant that Puneri Paltan were on the back foot despite the raiding efforts of Mohite and Manjeet.
Puneri Paltan were soon All Out as they went into the half chasing 17-27, with Patna Pirates setting a Season 7 record of scoring the most points in the first half.
In the second half, Puneri Paltan came out with purpose particularly Surjeet Singh who managed two tackles in the opening three minutes, but Patna Pirates gelled as a unit and picked the opposition one by one. Neeraj Kumar, especially, was impressive. After Nitin Tomar got two successive raid points, Neeraj countered with two straight successful tackles and along with captain Pardeep inflicted the second All Out of the night on Puneri Paltan with the home side trailing 25-39.
With a daunting 14-point lead and 10 minutes left on the clock, Puneri Paltan needed to go on the offensive when they reassembled. But Patna Pirates kept their score ticking, countering the home team's efforts, this time Monu stepping up with a tackle on Amit Kumar and a two-point raid that extended his team's lead to 16.
Tomar's back-to-back successful raids were met by Pardeep's knack of picking off defenders while Neeraj became the first player this season to reach 10 tackle points in a match. A raid point and a Super Tackle on Pardeep by Amit Kumar offered some resistance before Hadi Oshtorak wrapped up with a raid that got Manjeet, Hadi Tajik and Puneri Paltan's third All Out.
Patna Pirates’ prolific scoring on both sides of the match meant that they had scored the most number of points in a single match this season as they cruised to their third straight victory by 22 points.
Neeraj Kumar's 11 tackle points on the night were the most by a defender in a match equaling the vivo Pro Kabaddi record set by Manjeet Chhillar in Season 4.
Best Raider – Manjeet (7 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Surjeet Singh (3 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Pardeep Narwal (18 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Neeraj Kumar (11 Tackle Points)