New Delhi, Feb 4 (IANS) Puneri Paltan on Monday became the second team to qualify for the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 10 playoffs, following a thrilling 30-30 draw with the Dabang Delhi at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium.
In a neck-and-neck game, Aslam Inamdar (10 points) and Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (4 points) carried their team over the line, helping them reach the playoffs. Delhi need one more win to qualify for the playoffs this season.
After a sensational opening period, Puneri Paltan took a small lead early in the game, their credentials as one of the best teams this season clearly on display. And yet, Dabang Delhi did not panic, slowly clawing their way back into the fight courtesy of their defence, before the attacking department took over.
One of the revelations of the season, Ashu Malik ensured that Delhi never lost steam or hope despite being at the tail end of the opening period of the game. Early on, their sporadic touch points gave them the lead, and they inflicted the first All-Out with four minutes left in the half to take a 15-9 lead. It was a lead they extended to eight points at the break.
Paltan’s season has been built on a team that never gives up, no matter the disadvantage, and it showed in the second half. Led by Aslam Inamdar, they reduced Delhi’s numbers on the mat and managed an All-Out of their own to reduce the gap to three points.
Just when it looked like the momentum had shifted in Paltan’s favour, Delhi hit back, Ashish’s quick-thinking run-in to Mohamedreza Chiyaneh brought the crowd to their feet. Chiyaneh, known for his quick raids, was caught for one as Dabang fought him and the lead back within reach.
The final five minutes of the game turned into a frenzy, with the two teams never separated by more than two points at any point. With the last two raids of the evening, Paltan picked up the crucial points that tied them, and deservedly so.