Puneri Paltan got the better of Dabang Delhi K.C. by a 31-27 scoreline at the Patliputra Indoor Stadium in Patna on Wednesday in a match that witnessed the two teams' defence lead the way.
While Naveen Kumar emerged as the lead raider for Dabang Delhi K.C., it was more of a team effort at the Puneri Paltan end as More G B and Deepak Kumar Dahiya scored nine raid points between them to help their team secure the win.
It was a slow start to the game, even though Puneri Paltan made the most of the time early on. They were leading 2-0 by the fourth minute and soon managed to extend their lead to 4-0 through More G B’s efficient raiding and Sandeep Narwal's strong efforts in defence.
Check out the photos from the match here.
Dabang Delhi K.C. opened their account only in the sixth minute, but quickly picked up from there. Chandran Ranjit’s 3-point Super Raid in the 6th minute helped them level the scores at 5-5 before Naveen Kumar's successive successful raids, backed up by a sturdy defence, reduced Puneri Paltan to their first All-Out with the scores at 10-8 in Dabang Delhi K.C.'s favour.
When they reassembled, Dabang Delhi K.C. continued to stack on with a solid defensive show as their lead extended to four points at 13-9.
It was here that Monu stepped up with a Super Raid that sent veteran defenders Joginder Narwal, Ravinder Pahal and Vishal Mane to the bench. Quick to pounce on the change of momentum, Puneri Paltan upped the ante and inflicted an All-Out on Dabang Delhi K.C. which got the score to 19-15 in their favour.
Puneri Paltan kept their all-round show up till the end of the half and piled on a seven-point lead at 22-15 when the halftime whistle was sounded.
In the second half, Dabang Delhi K.C. walked in determined to close the gap. Naveen Kumar led the attempt with a two-point raid, and then Joginder Narwal managed to grab More G B's thigh to reduce the deficit to five points.
But from there, Puneri Paltan ensured that the gap didn't close too much as the two sides matched each other point-for-point.
Dabang Delhi K.C. got Meraj Sheykh in for Rajesh Narwal to bank on the Iranian's experience and turn the game around. He struck almost immediately with his trademark Scorpion Kick, getting a touch on Sandeep Narwal. The score stood at 25-21 in favour of Puneri Paltan at the time, with Dabang Delhi K.C. now throwing the game wide open.
Visit the matchcentre to relive the contest here.
In response, Puneri Paltan replaced Girish Maruti Ernak with Akshay Jadhav, who got a touch point through a Kick on Ravinder Pahal. Puneri Paltan then dismissed Chandran Ranjit twice and Meraj Sheykh once through their impeccable defence, which ballooned their lead back to seven points.
From there, it was just about running the clock down for Puneri Paltan as they eventually sealed the match 31-27.
Best Raider: Naveen Kumar (6 raid points)
Best Defender: Joginder Narwal (4 tackle points)
Best Raider: More GB (5 raid points)
Best Defender: Sandeep Narwal (4 tackle points)