Puneri Paltan put one foot in the semifinals of Pro Kabaddi Season 4 with a 36-33 win over Bengaluru Bulls.
Manjeet Chhillar inspired a stunning second half comeback by Pune, almost sealing their semifinal berth.
Pune were trailing by as many as nine points but came back strongly to notch an extremely crucial win. Manjeet scored 11 points, the most tackle points by a defender in the game.
Deepak Niwas Hooda scored first point for Pune in the second minute. Rohit Kumar replied with a raid of his own to level the score at 1-1.
Puneri Paltan led 5-1 after five minutes as their raiders scored points at will. Rohit Kumar was sent off the court in seventh minute as Pune led 6-1 and Bengaluru Bulls looking in disarray.
Bengaluru Bulls inflicted a super tackle in the ninth minute as they trailed 3-6. It was 9-5 in Pune’s favour after 10 minutes and an all out loomed large over Bengaluru.
However, they came back strongly and cut the lead to just one point for 9-10 after 12 minutes.
Bulls led for the first time in the match with a tackle point and doubled the advantage when Rohit Kumar scored to give his team 12-10 lead. Pune crumbled under pressure and suffered an all out in the 16th minute.
Bulls turned the game on its head to lead 19-12 after 18 minutes and Pune’s hopes of qualifying for semifinals disappearing with each passing minute.
Pune needed the points quick and scored three points in three minutes to trail 15-21. Manjeet attained a high five in 25th minute and led from the front to revive Pune’s hopes.
It was a stunning turnaround in the first 10 minutes of second half as Pune scored 12 points and Bengaluru Bulls just three.
With eight minutes left, Hooda scored with a two-point raid to give a 28-24 advantage to Pune. With less than two minutes to go, Manjeet scored with a crucial tackle point to give Pune the decisive lead.