Puneri Paltan produce an All-Round performance to overcome Telugu Titans
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Puneri Paltan moved above Telugu Titans in the PKL 7 league standings, with a hard-fought 34-27 victory over them at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Friday. All-Rounder Manjeet racked up 8 crucial Raid points as Puneri Paltan showed enough composure to see off Telugu Titans.
Star-raider, Nitin Tomar and Manjeet put Puneri Paltan in a quick, huge 5-0 lead within the first 2 minutes of the First Half. Defensively cohesive and strong, Telugu Titans responded with a couple of Super Tackles, racking up most of their points through well-executed Tackles. A third Super Tackle 8 minutes into the First Half enabled Titans to level the scores at 7-7. Soon after, they surged to a 2-point lead at 9-7 following their fourth Super Tackle on the night. Another one extended their lead at 11-8 when Vishal Bhardwaj tackled Manjeet.
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Puneri Paltan's consistency with their gameplan proved to be evident on the night as they used the numerical advantage on the mat to their strengths. They managed to inflict an All-Out on Telugu Titans before heading into the break at 17-14. The first 5 minutes of the Second Half saw both sides go at each other, neck-to-neck with Nitin Tomar and Siddharth Desai picking up the crucial Raid points for their respective team. But, Manjeet's Super Raid shifted the momentum in Paltan's favor. Siddharth Desai looked sharp as he kept on getting the Raid points but Anup Kumar's troops kept their resolve strong and defensive unit well in shape.
Substitute, Balasaheb Jadhav - a find of the season for Puneri Paltan - came on in the Second Half to fortify his side's defense further, while Nitin Tomar and Manjeet performed the Raiding duties brilliantly to ensure they maintained a substantial lead over their opponents, ultimately winning the contest.
Telugu Titans' C. Arun triggered 2 Super Tackles in the final 3 minutes of the match to make it an edgy, close affair towards the end. However, Anup Kumar's men displayed enough composure and executed their game-plan smartly to earn a well-fought, 7-point victory over Telugu Titans.
Match Preview:Telugu Titans targeting winning momentum against Puneri Paltan
Telugu Titans are placed at the bottom of the table at the 10th spot. Titans registered their third win of the season when they defeated dominant Jaipur Pink Panthers. Captain Abozar Mighani-led Titans would now be looking to extend their winning momentum now by defeating an inconsistent opponent in Puneri Paltan.
In the raiding department, Siddharth Desai (71 raid points), and his brother Suraj Desai (39 Raid points) have been the top-performers for their team. Siddharth looked off sorts in the early stages of the league but he looks to have hit his stride in the recent matches.
For Titans, their weak defense has proved to be their Achilles' heel so far in this season. Defenders have not seen clicking together as one formidable unit, as big names like Vishal Bharadwaj and skipper Abozar Mighani are still searching for form.
On the other hand, Puneri Paltan lies just one place above bottom-placed Patna Pirates with a total of 20 points. Paltan have just 3 wins from 10 matches so far are coming into this match following a defeat against an inconsistent UP Yoddha. Coach Anup Kumar's troops have not lived up to the expectations in the first half of the campaign. Manjeet, Pankaj Mohite and Surjeet Singh will have to perform well to end the Delhi-leg on a positive note.
Raider Pankaj Mohite has been a revelation for Puneri Paltan along with All-Rounder, Amit Kumar. Manjeet has picked up 47 raid points in 10 matches while Mohite has registered 40 raid points from 7 matches this season and All-rounder Amit Kumar has a total of 27 points. Right Cover and Captain, Surjeet Singh (22 Successful Tackle Points) must rally his side to perform as a cohesive unit against the raiding threat from the Telugu Titans, most notably from Siddharth Desai, to end their inconsistent string of performances this season.
Head to Head: Telugu Titans vs Puneri Paltan