PATNA PIRATES scored a convincing 38-21 win over hosts Puneri Paltan to keep their hopes of making the play-off stage alive in Season 2 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi. They play Jaipur Pink Pantherstomorrow for a spot in the play-offs. The Pirates have a tally of 36 points in 13 matches whereas the Panthers have 37 and they can make the cut with a draw. For Pirates a win is a must to overtake their rivals. Whoever wins tomorrow's contest will have to take on U Mumba for a place in the finals.
Pune were without Pravin Niwale and their captain Wazir Singh looked off-colour from the start. Patna did not have Ravi Dalal in their ranks but that did not matter as Gurvinder Singh made up for him with a fine display. But the surprise was Korean Tae Deok Eom. The stockily built all-rounder showed tremendous speed and power to outwit the rival defence every time he entered rival territory. He was in fact responsible for effecting the third all-out on Pune with a four pointer. Girish Ernak at the left corner position was always a threat for the Pune raiders. He had six successful tackles to his name.
With everything going well for them Patna dismissed Pune for the first time in the 9th minute to surge ahead 10-3. Girish Ernak then kept the scoring momentum by trapping the gangly Amit Rathi twice and Mahipal Narwal once. The teams went off for the breather with the winners leading by a not too big margin (15-6).
The start of the second half was bad for Pune. Before they could score a point Patna had piled up the agony by dismissing them a second time (22-6). That was in the 24th minute. Amit Rathi got the first point through a bonus but he was given out two raids later by the referee who miscalculated the third empty raid. A referral failed to give Amit and Pune the desired relief.
Pune played gamely thereafter as can be seen from the three super tackles they got, twice on Sandeep Narwal and once on Gurvinder. But the gap kept on increasing and difficult to bridge. In fact Pune entered double figures when Gurvinder got out in a do-or-die raid. Pune picked up pace through Sanjay Kumar to cross the twenty point mark but then their rivals too never relaxed to end up with a 38-21 score. Time ran out for Pune as they lost the chance to get the last man standing for Patna.