Jaipur: Puneri Paltan have retained their top-spot in the ongoing fourth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League after beating home team Jaipur Pink Panthers 33-28 in their fifth match here at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.
A superb individual performance by youngster Ajay Kumar, who scored 11 points, went in vain as Puneri Paltan ran out eventual winners.
In a much- anticipated clash, Ravinder Bahal put in an impressive performance in defence for Puneri Paltan as he scored five tackle points.
Puneri Paltan had a plan to target Jaipur’s star men Jasvir Singh and Shabeer Bapu. Nitin Tomar scored with his first do-or-die raid in the seventh minute as Puneri Paltan led 4-2. Deepak Niwas Hooda scored two points and forced Jasvir Singh off the court in the eighth minute to lead 7-2.
Rajesh Narwal forced a super tackle on Nitin Tomar as Jaipur Pink Panthers fought back to cut the deficit to a single point after 10 minutes of the game. Puneri Paltan inflicted the first all out in 13th minute to lead 12-7.
The star raiders of both teams – Jasvir Singh for Jaipur and Manjeet Chhillar for Pune were unusually quiet in the first half. Ajay Hooda made two defensive errors for Jaipur as Puneri Paltan led 15-8 with four minutes left in the first half. Jaipur ended the first half strongly and scored seven points in the last five minutes as they trailed 13-16 at the end of first half.
Puneri Paltan began the second half strongly and scored three points and led 19-13 after five minutes of second half. Jasvir Singh failed to score a single point with his first six raids as Puneri Paltan opened an eight-point gap to lead 22-14 after 28 minutes. Ajay Kumar scored crucial two points for Jaipur Pink Panthers as they averted an all-out in the 30th minute. Ajay Kumar then inflicted a super raid in the next minute to score four points as Jaipur cut the lead to just three points with less than ten minutes to go.
With less than six minutes to go, Puneri Paltan inflicted the second all out to lead 30-23. Jaipur Pink Panthers needed their raiders to get points but in the last five minutes they failed to do so. Deepak Niwas Hooda scored nine raid points for the Puneri Paltan to lead his team to an impressive win.
Puneri Paltan have notched up a total of 19 points from five games whereas Jaipur Pink Panthers remained in the second spot with 15 points. (ANI)