Puneri Paltan produced an all-round performance to beat Telugu Titans 34-27
Nitin Tomar (8 points) and Manjeet (9 points) were in the points for Anup Kumar coached Pune side, despite a record-setting defensive display by the Titans who produced 7 Super Tackles, as they jumped the Telugu side to occupy the tenth place in the points table.
Pune dominated the initial minutes of the match, thwarting Siddharth Desai’s raids while Nitin Tomar picked up valuable raid points at the other end. But Titans’ defender Vishal Bhardwaj, who has made a name for himself as the king of Super Tackles in Season 7, sparked off a series of Super Tackles, ably supported by his teammates Abozar Mighani and Amit Kumar, to keep the Titans in the game. The Telugu team produced 5 Super Tackles in the first half as Vishal Bhardwaj raced to a High 5 (awarded to defenders with five or more tackle points) but the defensive masterclass was not enough to prevent an All-Out in the final minute of the half which ended 17-14 in favour of the Pune side.
Siddharth Desai was in no mood to let Pune dominate him and started the second half positively, picking four points in his first four raids of the half. Desai also reached a personal milestone of 300 Pro Kabaddi points with the raids. But sadly for Titans, the defenders struggled replicate their first half form, with Vishal Bhardwaj making a mistake on an ankle hold that allowed Pune’s Manjeet to escape with a 4-point Super Raid four minutes after the restart. The move allowed Pune to open up a 6-point lead which they went on to hold firmly. Balasaheb Jadhav, who has certainly been Pune’s find of the season, came in the second half to solidify the defence while Manjeet and Nitin Tomar took care of the raiding duties. Nitin Tomar reached a milestone of 400 Pro Kabaddi points towards latter stages of the match as Pune saw out the late challenge from the Telugu side.