Substitute Akshay Jadhav came up with a game-changing performance to inspire Puneri Paltan to a thrilling 27-25 win over Bengaluru Bulls at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Pune on Sunday. The electrifying game went down to the wire and could have gone either way, but Puneri Paltan held on to seal a second close win in as many days.
In a low-scoring first half, Bengaluru Bulls started the game on a high as Pawan Kumar Sehrawat reached the milestone of 100 raid points in VIVO Pro Kabaddi with the first raid of the match. Sehrawat then got another point off Girish Maruti Ernak as Bengaluru Bulls raced to a 4-1 lead.
An Ankle Hold by Kashiling Adake on Monu took the score to 5-3 in the 7th minute as Puneri Paltan went about reducing Bengaluru Bulls’ lead.
Check out the photos from the match here.
Puneri Paltan took the lead for the first time in the 9th minute as Nitin Tomar raided successfully to make it 6-5 for his team. The teams then went about exchanging points for a while as Sandeep levelled the scores at 9-9 with a Super Tackle on Nitin Tomar in the 15th minute.
The two teams then played on the Do-or-Die raids in the first half’s closing minutes. Rajesh Mondal got a touch on Gulia to level the scores at 10-10 in the 18th minute before Bengaluru Bulls picked up 3 successive points to finish the half on a high.
The second half started with Shubham Shinde getting a Super Tackle on Sehrawat in the 1st minute to help Puneri Paltan get back some momentum. However, Bengaluru Bulls maintained their lead, as Rohit Kumar got a touch point to take the score to 16-13 in his team’s favour. An Akshay Jadhav 3-point raid helped level the game once again for Puneri Paltan at 16-16 and saved them from an All-Out.
The teams then exchanged points periodically before Adake tackled Jadhav to hand Puneri Paltan their first All-Out of the game in the 8th minute and give his team a 22-20 lead. Both teams then went on the defensive as Adake and Tomar were taken down in successive raids to take the score to 23-21 in Bengaluru Bulls’ favour.
Puneri Paltan regained the lead in the 14th minute by tackling Sehrawat and taking the score to 23-24.
An Adake Super Tackle in the 17th minute levelled the scores at 25-25 before Puneri Paltan returned with two tackle points to claim a second thrilling.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.