Raider Aslam Inamdar emerged star performer for Puneri Paltan as they beat defending champions Bengal Warriors 39-27 in their Pro Kabaddi League match here on Sunday.
Inamdar scored a Super 10 (17 points) while Abinesh Nadarajan clinched a High 5 (5 tackle points) for Paltan who had a near-flawless performance on the mat.
Captain Maninder Singh clinched a Super 10 for the Warriors, but he proved to be the sole performer for a team desperately short of confidence.
Bengal started the match on the front foot with Maninde’s Super Raid (3 points) in the fourth minute putting Pune in a spot of bother. But substitute Sombir and Abinesh Nadarajan produced consecutive Super Tackles to turn the game around for Paltan.
Inamdar and Nitin Tomar picked up crucial points for the team from Maharashtra who got their first ‘All Out’ with five minutes to the interval. That opened a seven-point lead and Pune used the momentum to continue their attack on a struggling Bengal side.
Maninder and Mohammad Nabibakhsh were immediately tackled as the half ended 20-11 with Pune in the ascendancy. Bengal, who went into the match with just one win in five matches, were staring at another big defeat.
Pune got their second ‘All Out’ in the third minute of the second half to open a 12-point lead. Their all-rounder Inamdar was having a great time on the mat, targeting Bengal cover Amit Nirwal on multiple occasions. He got his Super 10 while at the other end Maninder tried his level best to keep the Warriors in the match.
Bengal’s over-dependence on their captain for raid points was beginning to hurt them as Nabibakhsh struggled.
Maninder’s Super 10 and Akash Pikalmunde’s crucial raids didn’t seem to matter as Pune held a 13-point lead with five minutes remaining in the match. The energised Pune team made no mistakes in the final raids to win with a 12-point margin.