Puneri Paltan won their third game on the trot at home against Bengaluru Bulls and, for the second straight night, won it in the final raid of the match, showing nerves of steel. They will look to continue their momentum and win their fourth straight game when they take on Tamil Thalaivas.
After an emphatic win on the opening night, Tamil Thalaivas have slipped to five straight defeats. But after a six-day break, they will aim to break the run of losses and kickstart a good run of results starting with a victory against an in-form Puneri Paltan.
Match 30 (Inter-Zone Challenge Week): Puneri Paltan vs. Tamil Thalaivas
Head-to-head: Puneri Paltan 1-0 Tamil Thalaivas
Puneri Paltan are in excellent form, winning three straight games at home which sees them currently in control of the top spot in Zone A. The team held their strength for the second night in a row in a thrilling win over Bengaluru Bulls, showing great grit to close out games. They have shown that no matter how tight the situation is, there is no panic or unnecessary haste in their approach.
A high-scoring affair in their last game saw Tamil Thalaivas being edged by Bengaluru Bulls. Despite the loss, there were positives for Tamil Thalaivas as youngster Athul MS came on as a substitute in the second half and scored six raid points. Captain Ajay Thakur led the way yet again with nine points for his team as he continued his stellar start to the campaign. Tamil Thalaivas have had a six-day breather since that match, giving them enough time to regroup and rethink their strategy going into the next phase of the campaign. Coach E Bhaskaran will hope his team can respond to the challenge posed by a strong Puneri Paltan team.
The big battle –
Nitin Tomar vs. Amit Hooda
With 81 raid points in eight matches, Nitin Tomar has been a major reason for Puneri Paltan’s outstanding start to their campaign. The raider is tied at the first spot in Super 10s as well, having scored four, and Puneri Paltan will hope he gets his fifth when they face Tamil Thalaivas. The key to beating Puneri Paltan will be keeping Nitin Tomar quiet and Right Corner Amit Hooda will have to lead the way in defence for his team. With 13 Tackle Points, including two Super Tackles, Hooda has showcased this season that he is capable of going up against any raider and Tamil Thalaivas will hope that he can keep Tomar in check.
Akshay Jadhav – Puneri Paltan
Youngster Akshay Jadhav has been instrumental in Puneri Paltan’s hat-trick of wins, contributing well as a Cover and Corner in defence. He has also come in to raid in tense situations for the team. With the team down to just him against Bengaluru Bulls, he scored four points on two raids to ensure that despite the All-Out inflicted on his team, the scoreline was still in their control. The youngster will play a key role if Puneri Paltan are to make it four in a row.
Athul MS – Tamil Thalaivas
Athul MS has emerged as an excellent secondary raider for Tamil Thalaivas, scoring 30 points in five games for his team. Tamil Thalaivas will be expecting another big performance from Athul when they take on the defensively-astute Puneri Paltan on Tuesday.