The Puneri Paltan bounced back ecstatically when they handed the Bengal Warriors a massive 49-19 loss — their first in Pro Kabaddi League 2023-24 — at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Saturday. The Paltan army, who went down to the Haryana Steelers on Friday night, never let the opponent raiders settle and their 24 tackle points is now a new record for a team in a single PKL match.
The home side did not let the occasion of facing the table toppers deter them from a perfect start. Their excellent defending got Maninder Singh in his first raid before Pankaj Mohite's successful two-point raid gave the Paltan an early lead. However, the mighty Maninder can hardly be kept out of the action. The Warriors captain, continuing his form from their record-breaking win over Patna Pirates, equalled the score with a SUPER RAID, proving why he is one of the best raiders in the game.
Despite this, the Paltan army headed into the strategic time-out with a slender 7-6 advantage and built on it with an excellent SUPER TACKLE to grab three points off Maninder once again.
The Warriors buckled after their slow start and upped the ante in the final minutes of the first half. A second SUPER RAID in the game for Maninder eliminated Abinesh, Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Pankaj Mohite, but Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar's 'Never-Give-Up' attitude got them two consecutive SUPER TACKLES.
Such was their defensive prowess in front of a boisterous home crowd that the Pune team managed 12 tackle points and just 6 raid points at the end of the first half, adding pressure on the Warriors with the score reading 20-12.
The side from Kolkata continued to be pegged back and were ALL OUT early in the second half as the Paltan kept up their phenomenal form. Such was the domination of the Puneri men on the night that Maninder Singh, who got 15 points in the last game, was silenced for much of the match.
For every point that the Warriors managed to score, the Paltan had the perfect answer. Left stunned by the all-round ability and the mat presence of the Puneri Paltan, the Warriors fell to a second ALL OUT late in the game, effectively ending any chances of a win for the PKL Season 7 winners.
Pro Kabaddi League 2023-24 will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network and for free on Disney+ hotstar.