Mohit Goyat and Aslam Inamdar shone bright as Puneri Paltan beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 37-30 in a crucial Pro Kabaddi League match here on Saturday.
Goyat (14 points) and Inamdar (11 points) ensured Jaipur had no opportunity to make a comeback despite Arjun Deshwal's best efforts. The Panthers' raider scored 18 points but found very little support from his teammates.
Both teams entered the mat with a possibility of securing a playoff spot – Jaipur needed a win, while Pune needed a victory with a points difference of 28+.
In the end, both teams couldn’t confirm a place and will now wait for results from Haryana Steelers’ and Gujarat Giant’s matches. The biggest winner from the result was in fact Bengaluru Bulls who now secured a place in the eliminators.
The pre-match build-up was all about the battle between star raiders Arjun Deshwal and Mohit Goyat. But they had a slow start as the defences dominated the early minutes.
Jaipur’s Brijendra Singh was exceptional as the team opened a 3-point lead. But Pune slowly staged a comeback with Aslam Inamdar finding errors in the Jaipur defence.
The match opened up after the first 10 minutes. With Arjun Deshwal in the dugout, Pune sensed an opportunity to push for a healthy advantage. Mohit Goyat got into the act as Pune clinched an ALL OUT in the 16th minute to open a 4-point lead. They continued to control the pace of the match and widened to the lead to 7 points by halftime (18-11).
Pune got their second ALL OUT in the first move of the second half. Aslam Inamdar then followed it with a 3-point Super Raid with a fabulous dubki. That gave Paltan a 13-point lead but Arjun Deshwal found his rhythm on the mat. He picked his Super 10 in the 7th minute after the restart and reduced Pune’s lead to 10 points by the 10th minute.
Pune wanted a 28-point win to ensure qualification for the playoffs. Aslam Inamdar secured his Super 10 while at the other end Arjun Deshwal kept picking up the points.
Deepak Hooda’s absence from the line-up meant Jaipur were overly reliant on Arjun for the raid points. Mohit Goyat showed his all-rounder abilities by initiating a Super Tackle on Arjun Deshwal with 6 minutes remaining. But substitute Naveen came to Jaipur’s rescue with an important touchpoint that revived Arjun immediately. Pune’s lead was 11 points with 5 minutes remaining but Jaipur could smell the possibility of an ALL OUT.
The Panthers inflicted that ALL OUT with 3 minutes remaining to slash Paltan’s lead to just 5 points. The Season 1 champions could confirm a playoff spot with a win but Pune had other ideas.
Mohit Goyat produced a stunning tackle on Arjun Deshwal to send him to the bench and Aslam followed it with a successful raid by touching Sandeep Dhull. That helped Pune open a lead and win with a margin of 7 points.