New Delhi, March 5: Puneri Paltan who had put up a fighting display while qualifying for the semi-finals, finished the Season 3 Star Sports Pro Kabaddi on a satisfying note by beating Bengal Warriors 31-27 to clinch third spot.
They had laid the foundation in the first half with a 15-8 lead and had to repel a late surge from their rivals who were without their star raider Nitin Tomar, Mahendra Goud and their formidable left corner Girish Ernak. Despite being below strength the Bengal Warriors fought on gamely. Jang Kun Lee and skipper Nilesh Shinde raised their game to pump life in the match.
Bengal Warriors made a sure but sedate start to the match going 4-0 up with Mahendra Rajput coming successful from two do or die raids and the Pune raiders Surendra Singh and Ajay Thakur falling to Umesh Mhatre and Bajirao Hodage in rival territory. But once Jang Kun Lee got super-tackled by Manjeet Chhillar Puneri Paltan were in business. Deepak Niwas Hooda with four raid points and Manjeet Chhillar too adding three more points with one raid point the side from Western India got their rivals all-out by the 16th minute.
The second half saw Deepak Hooda continue his good work. Though he was super tackled twice in this half he did enough damage to his rivals. The Puneri Paltan defence also did not lag behind. Led By Manjeet Chhillar they inflicted the second all-out in the 27th minute to lead 22-11.
But Bengal Warriors came back hard. Jang had a super raid and every time he went in he posed problems for the rival defence. He also affected one tackle to push the rivals back. He had as many as seven points in that ten minute spell that started in the 29th minute. But a two pointer by Deepak Niwas Hooda gave that vital cushion for Puneri Paltan to come close to their objective. At 29-24 the match was sealed.