Puneri Paltan thrashed Dabang Delhi K.C. 42-25 in match 76 of Pro Kabaddi season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru. 

Pune dominated the match right from the first whistle to inflict a morale-depleting loss on the season 7 runner’s-up. Mohit Goyat picked up 10 points for Pune (including 1 tackle point) while right corner Sombir clinched a high 5 (6 points).

Delhi were once again without the services of their star raider Naveen Kumar and experienced left corner Joginder Narwal. The lack of a Plan B, especially in the absence of these stars, has cost them dear in the recent matches with Vijay and Sandeep Narwal struggling to have the same impact in the raiding department.

Pune dominated the first half with an all-round performance. Their raiding trio of Aslam Inamdar, Mohit Goyat and Nitin Tomar picked up quick points while their defence ensured Delhi raiders had no luck in their forays. 

Aslam’s versatility to raid on both sides coupled with the left-right combination of Nitin and Mohit meant the Delhi defence had no chance of finding a rhythm. Coach Anup Kumar’s decision to change the tried and tested corner duo of Vishal Bharadwaj and Baldev Singh paid rich dividends as Sombir and Karamvir impressed once again. 

Pune got their first all-out in the 10th minute and then followed it with another in the 18th to open a 13-point lead. Delhi had just two tackle points (as opposed to Pune’s 8), thanks to a Super Tackle by Sandeep Narwal, in the first half which ended 25-13 in Pune’s favour.

Neeraj Narwal and Sandeep Narwal showed glimpses of their potential for Delhi but the first 10 minutes after the restart belonged completely to the youngsters of Pune. Dabang Delhi K.C. brought in Mohammad Malak in a bid to strengthen the defence but that didn’t stop Pune. On the other hand, Puneri Paltan raiders continued the good work while their Delhi counterparts struggled. Pune got their third all out in the seventh minute after the restart and opened a 19-point lead by the 10th minute.

Sombir got a high 5 for Pune as they maintained the lead in the dying minutes of the match. Delhi had no answers for Pune’s high-intensity kabaddi as Anup Kumar’s men clinched a very important win to keep them alive in the playoff race.

Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi