V Ajith Kumar led the Tamil Thalaivas attack brilliantly as he scored 18 raid points and helped his team finish with a 36-36 tie against home side Puneri Paltan at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge, Balewadi in Pune on Wednesday. Puneri Paltan had a five-point lead till the final two minutes but were undone by Ajith’s unstoppable raiding effort on the night, which gave his team the tie.
Abishek’s successful tackle on Manjeet started things off on a positive note for Tamil Thalaivas and V Ajith Kumar helped them extend their lead to four with three successful raids in quick succession. But Manjeet showed his all-round brilliance once again with a successful raid followed by a successful tackle on ‘Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari. Pankaj Mohite then put in a Super Raid in which he got touches on Ajeet, Shabeer Bappu and Abishek to push Puneri Paltan into the lead.
Puneri Paltan then inflicted the All-Out in 7th minute to extend their lead to three points and bring the game under their control. Mohite and Manjeet raided successfully for their side and Girish Maruti Ernak took down the in-form Ajith too reduce Tamil Thalaivas down to three men yet again.
However, Bappu responded in emphatic style with a Super Tackle on Manjeet, followed by another successful tackle on Amit Kumar, to help his team come back into the match. He followed it up with some patient raiding as Tamil Thalaivas kept escaping the All-Out, going into halftime with an 18-12 deficit.
Once Bappu was tackled by Amit Kumar in the second period, though, it looked like Puneri Paltan would finally inflict the All-Out. But Ajith put in four successful raids as the last raider for his team before being tackled in the fifth one to finally concede the All-Out. He also reached his Super 10 in the process.
Mohite and Ajith then added more points to their tally as Puneri Paltan maintained a healthy 32-24 lead with 9 minutes still to play. Manjeet came to the fore for Puneri Paltan in the second period as well, putting in seven successful raids without being tackled even once. He reached his Super 10 with two minutes still to play and Puneri Paltan’s lead at five points.
Ajith, though, wasn’t done yet and got touches on Balasaheb Jadhav and Amit Kumar in successive raids before the ‘Showman’ showed his defensive prowess by tackling down Tomar in the last raid of the match to inflict the All-Out and help Tamil Thalaivas leave the match with a tie to their name.
Best Raider – V Ajith Kumar (18 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Shabeer Bappu (3 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Manjeet (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Amit Kumar (3 Tackle Points)