Puneri Paltan registered a 31-23 win against defending champions Bengaluru Bulls in a Pro-Kabaddi League match at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium on Wednesday. In the other match, Jaipur Pink Panthers held on to a 28-26 win against Tamil Thalaivas to hold on to their top position in the points table.
A heavily bandaged Surjeet Singh at the centre was the leader (6 tackle points) in the defensive unit for Puneri Paltan, never allowing the leagues best raider, Pawan Sehrawat, to weave his magic.
Sagar Krishna came in for a struggling Girish Ernak as coach Anup Kumar made the changes to a faltering Pune side while the Bengaluru Bulls went in with an extra defender in the line-up buoyed by the performances of their two raiders in Pawan Sehrawat and Rohit Kumar.
It was the Pune team which started off well, consistently tackling Bengaluru Bulls raiders, with Sagar Krishna justifying his inclusion with an incredible body block on Rohit Kumar six minutes into the match.
The defensive units matched each other tackle for tackle, as the raiders, including Punes Nitin Tomar struggled to impress.
A low-scoring, heavy tackling first half, which also saw Sehrawat reach 100 points for the season, ended with scores even at 10-10.
Bengalurus decision to play just two raiders backfired as Paltans improved defence thwarted any raider who ventured into their territory.
Pune inflicted the game’s only All-Out on Bengaluru Bulls in the sixth minute of the second half to open up an 8-point gap.
Manjeets clever raids in do-or-die situations were also vital for Pune as they raced to a two-digit lead. The defence held firm, as Surjeet Singh completed a personal milestone of 250 points in Pro Kabaddi League, and secured a very important victory that pushed his team up to 10th in the league standings.
Bengalurus loss meant they lost out on an opportunity to go to the top of the points table.