A collective performance helped Puneri Paltan thrash Haryana Steelers 45-27 in Match 108 of Pro Kabaddi League Season 8.
The first half belonged completely to the team from Pune. Coach Anup Kumar’s youngsters approached the mat with no fear, and they dominated the Steelers in defence and attack.
Mohit Goyat was the pick of the raiders, picking up points with ease and leaving Haryana’s defence disoriented. Paltan got their first ALL OUT in the 6 th minute to open an 8-point lead. The Steelers staged a mini fightback with Vikash Kandola but Sombir produced a stunning Super Tackle to once again shift the momentum to Pune’s side.
Pune’s strategy was clear – tackle Vikash and then control the mat when the Haryana captain is in the dugout. He pulled off three perfect tackles in the closing minutes of the first half as Pune clinched another ALL OUT. Haryana’s much-famed defence had just 1 successful tackle in the entire half. The first half ended with the scores 26-7.
Haryana brought in Surender Nada and Rohit Gulia after the interval to add more steel to their team. But the changes made little difference as Pune kept attacking relentlessly. Right corner defender Sombir picked up a High 5 as Pune clinched yet another ALL OUT in the fifth minute after the restart.
The ALL OUT widened Paltan's lead to 25 points. Nitin Tomar, playing a ‘libero’ defender role, initiated a few outstanding tackles as Pune’s defenders refused to let Haryana raiders settle.
Mohit Goyat also picked his Super 10 while Pune also gave ‘showman’ Rahul Chaudhari a chance to make a comeback after a long injury layoff.
Haryana secured an ALL OUT with 2 minutes remaining but that made very little difference to the final outcome as Pune clinched an important win in their race for a playoff berth.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi