Pro Kabaddi League: Puneri Paltan defeat Tamil Thalaivas in the semifinal and qualify for final
Puneri Paltan triumphed over the injury-riddled Raiders, the tenacious Tamil Thalaivas, and the first-half deficit to become the first team to reach the Vivo Pro Kabaddi finals
The game was won by Puneri Paltan thanks to Pankaj Mohite (16 points) and Mohammad Nabibakhsh (6 points) in a thrilling and competitive evening.
In the early moments of this game, everything pointed to a close match between the two teams. But then the Thalaivas defence woke up and took the game into their hands.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">These pangebaaz gave it their all and helped get their teams to the finale! 🤩<a href="https://twitter.com/Vivo_India?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@vivo_india</a> Perfect Player of the Match ➡️ Sahul Kumar, Pankaj Mohite <a href="https://t.co/O1akKvvjzW">pic.twitter.com/O1akKvvjzW</a></p>— ProKabaddi (@ProKabaddi) <a href="https://twitter.com/ProKabaddi/status/1603438394813472768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 15, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Soon the attacks of Narender and Ajinkya Pawar were complemented by brilliant defensive work, while the Paltan faltered.
It took several super tackles for the Paltan to prevent an early all-out, and when the first all-out came, the Thalaivas took a 15-11 lead.
Now the Thalaivas were in sync and control of the game, and although they fell behind due to some brilliant attacks by Pankaj Mohite, they made sure with some super tackles that they didn't concede another all-out.
The teams went into the break with a 21-15 lead for the Thalaivas but fewer players on the mat.
Puneri Paltan came out in the second half with determination to force an early all-out to regain the momentum. That proved difficult without their two best attackers in the game and against a strong, resilient Thalaivas unit. It took the cleverness and brilliance of Mohammad Nabibakhsh to help the Thalaivas get their first all-out and cut the game to one point.
The difference between the two teams was rarely more than two points in the last 10 minutes as both teams constantly exchanged punches in a tactical battle at the highest level.
With five minutes remaining, the score was 30-30 between the two sides after Mohite scored 10 points for the contest.
At a crucial moment in this final game phase, Paltan captain Fazel Atrachali scored his two tackle points, taking out Ajinkya Pawar. The Paltans scored their second all-out with just under three minutes left to take a 36-30 advantage.
They never relinquished that lead and kept the Thalaivas at bay to finish the game smartly and qualify for the final.