Mumbai, March 2: Puneri Paltan finished third in the Season 3 Star Sports Pro Kabaddi with a fluent 43-19 win over Bengal Warriors at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai. They along with their opponents completed their engagements. Puneri Paltan had a tally of 48 points to Bengal Warriors’ 47, who finished fourth.
All-rounder Deepak Niwas Hooda and defender Surjeet Narwal hogged the limelight with 12 raid points and 8 tackle points respectively. There was one super raid of four points by Nilesh Salunkhe who did a good job of the do-or-die raids. For the Bengal Warriors their famed defence never clicked today.
Bengal Warriors’ Captain, Nilesh Shinde before the start of the match had said they were not much concerned on whom they would meet in the semis as both the toppers, be it U Mumba or Patna Pirates had done well and what mattered was to play well against any one of them whom they would meet on Friday. That sums up the approach of his team.
Puneri Paltan, going all out for a win today suggested they were not keen on meeting U Mumba who had an easy opponent Dabang Delhi K.C in the concluding league tie.
Both the teams did not field their top raiders today. Bengal Warriors were without Nitin Tomar while their rivals preferred not to field their five-star raider Ajay Thakur and Surendra Singh. To add to the on court difficulties the Bengal Warriors had to replace Mahesh Goud midway due to a knee injury.
The first half saw Puneri Paltan force the first of the three all outs in the 13th minute. Mahendra Rajput was caught off the first raid by Surjeet to set the pace early. Tushar Patil then came up with a three point super raid inclusive of a bonus point. The winners went on consolidating the lead and with the all-out went up 15-5. The situation hardly changed with Puneri Paltan staying 20-8 ahead at half-time. Only Jang Kun Lee put up some resistance.
The situation didn’t change much in the second session. The second all-out in the 27th minute gave the winners a 29-11 lead and by the time the third all-out came in the 38th minute the teams were seen to be just keen on finishing the proceedings. It was time for the Bengal Warriors to give an opportunity to Kedar Lal and Vineet Sharma and for Puneri Paltan the Kenyans Simon Kibura and David Mosambayi made a token appearance. Simon Kibura after being caught once scored two points much to his country man’s joy.