Lucknow, Aug 21: Puneri Paltan handed two-time champions Patna Pirates their first defeat in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 5 in an inter-zone challenge here at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium on Sunday (August 20).
Pune defeated Patna by 47-42 in a high-scoring game. Patna's star raider Pardeep Narwal's 19 raid points for went in vain as Pune rode on Rajesh Mondal's 10 points to clinch their fourth win of the season.
The defending champions, Patna, failed to live up to their billing in the initial stages of the match, resulting in two all outs within the first half, which they finished 13-25.
Pune led 22-8 after 14 minutes, including the first all out as Patna's defence had no answer to the opposition raiders.
Pardeep tried to get back Patna into the game, scoring two quick raid points in the dying minutes of the first half.
On the backfoot, Patna failed to get their act together in the second half, as Pune inflicted another all out to lead 28-15 after 21 minutes.
Pardeep made a successful raid in the 22nd minute as Patna trailed 20-30 before Pune stretched their lead further to 36-24, thanks to Deepak Hooda's two points in the 30th minute.
In the 34th minute, Deepak made another successful raid as Pune extended their lead to 40-30.
With three minutes left and the scoreboard reading 30-41, Patna raised their hopes for a turnaround by forcing an all out but Pune smartly recovered to consolidate their position in the match.
Pink Panthers sneak past UP Yoddhas
Meanwhile, UP Yoddha succumbed to their third straight loss on home ground, going down narrowly 22-24 to Jaipur Pink Panthers in an inter zone challenge.
The match started on an even note with both sides tightening the screws as the half time score read 10-11, in favour of the hosts.
On the backfoot after losing two consecutive matches in their home leg, the Yoddha strengthened their defence when it mattered the most as the first half scores depicted.
Raider Nitin Tomar's raid point in the second minute helped the hosts open their account before Tushar Patil scored two points to give Jaipur a 5-3 lead after four minutes.
Jasvir Singh, captaining the Jaipur side in place of an injured Manjeet Chhillar, scored a raid point in the eighth minute as to help the visitors extend their lead to 7-4.
Thereafter, the hosts came back strongly to level the scores at 8-8 after 12 minutes before both the sides went neck and neck to end the first half.
The second half began with Jaipur drawing level at 11-11 in the opening minute before Rajesh Narwal scored with a raid point in the 23rd minute to hand the hosts a slender 13-12 lead.
A slew of empty raids followed as both teams were tied at 15-15 after 29 minutes.
Rishank Devadiga made a successful raid in the 31st minute to break the deadlock as UP surged ahead 18-15.A
With less than five minutes to go, Mahesh Goud made a successful raid in the 37th minute to give UP a 19-18 lead before Nitan Rawal responded with a raid point to level things up 19-19.
The drama continued in the final two minutes as both teams gave it all before Jaipur inflicted an all out in the dying minutes of the match to turn the tide in their favour.
(With inputs from agencies)