Puneri Paltan completely outclassed U Mumba 42-23 in match 52 of Pro Kabaddi Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Thursday. 

The season’s first Maharashtra Derby belonged to the team from Pune who brought out an all-round performance against a Mumbai side desperately lacking ideas.

Left-cover Vishal Bhardwaj and all-rounder Nitin Tomar picked up high 5s for the Pune team who jumped to 10th spot on the points table.

The first half of the derby was dominated by Pune with Aslam Inamdar and Nitin Tomar impressing in their raids. After a cautious start to the match, Nitin Tomar produced a stunning three-point super raid in the 13th minute to initiate Pune’s charge for an all-out. They clinched it eventually with four minutes to the interval and opened a four-point lead. 

Mumbai looked disjointed as a unit, clearly missing V Ajith Kumar’s presence in the raiding department. Abhishek Singh tried his best to help Mumbai stay in touch with their arch-nemesis, but the half ended 18-10 with Pune in the lead.

Pune coach Anup Kumar wanted his team to slow down their raids, but Aslam Inamdar had other plans as he produced a three-point super raid at the start of the second half.

Paltan got their second all-out in the fourth minute after the restart as their defence steamrolled the Mumbai raiders.

Pune opened up a 17-point lead with 10 minutes remaining as Vishal Bhardwaj and Baldev Singh ensured their corners remained raid-proof. They got another all-out immediately after the first time out as Vishal Bhardwaj picked his high 5. 

Cover defender Abinesh Nadarajan also impressed as Pune opened a 21-point lead in the final minutes. The experienced Nitin Tomar picked up a high 5 in the closing stages as Pune won the derby comfortably.

Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi