Puneri Paltan’s young stars helped the side beat U.P. Yoddha 44-38 in match 79 of Pro Kabaddi Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru.
Mohit Goyat picked up 14 raid points and was ably supported by Aslam Inamdar with 12 (including 3 tackle points). The victory helped Pune rise to the eighth spot in the Pro Kabaddi standings, increasing their chances of making it to the playoffs after a jittery start to their campaign.
Surender Gill fetched 16 points for U.P. Yoddha but unfortunately could not get the support he needed from his teammates. Pune’s defence also had a stellar night, hunting down raiders in packs, with Abinesh Nadarajan and Sombir leading them.
Puneri Paltan’s young guns got them off to a flying start. Aslam Inamdar and Mohit Goyat shared the raiding duties while their cover defender Abinesh Nadarajan was rock solid. Coach Anup Kumar’s team inflicted an early all-out in the eighth minute to race to an eight-point lead. Aslam Inamdar also contributed to the defence with two tackle points. But Yoddha clawed their way back into the match thanks to the ever-reliable Surender Gill. He and Shrikant Jadhav combined to score raid points to shift the balance to their side.
Gill’s two-point raid in the last minute of the half fetched his team an all-out and reduced Pune’s lead to just three points. The high-scoring first half ended 22-18 with Paltan in the lead.
Pune had no intentions of letting their lead slip and raider Mohit Goyat shifted gears to produce a raiding masterclass after the interval. He raced to a super 10 with multiple multi-point raids as Pune secured another all-out in the seventh minute after the restart.
Pardeep Narwal produced a stunning three-point raid to reduce the points margin, but Pune kept piling on the pressure with their aggressive defending. Paltan had an 11-point lead with 10 minutes remaining in the match.
But kabaddi is a sport that can change completely in a minute and Surender Gill ensured U.P. Yoddha got another all-out. His super 10 and multi-point raids made it a four-point game with six minutes left on the clock. But Pune’s youngsters ensured they maintained a safe distance and clinched the victory by defending as a pack. Mohit Goyat's calmness in do-or-die raids and Aslam Inamdar's all-round capabilities should make Pune a team to watch out for in the upcoming matches of Season 8.
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi