New Delhi: Puneri Paltan became the second team to qualify for the playoffs of PKL season 10, after a thrilling 30-30 tie with Dabang Delhi at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium today. In a neck to neck game, Aslam Inamdar (10 points) and Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (4 points) took their team over the line, helping them to the playoffs. Delhi need one more win to qualify for the playoffs this season.
After an initial feeling out period, Puneri Paltan streaked into a small lead early in the game, their credentials as one of the best teams this season shown clearly. And yet Dabang Delhi were not overawed, slowly clawing back into contention courtesy of their defense, before the raiding department took charge.
One of the revelations of the season, Ashu Malik ensured that Delhi never lost steam or hope despite trailing for the initial period of the game. Soon enough his sporadic touch points gave them a lead, and they inflicted the first ALL OUT with four minutes of the half left to take a 15-9 lead. It was a lead they extended to eight points at half time.
Paltan’s season has been built on a team that never gives up, no matter the deficit, and so it proved in the second half. Led by Aslam Inamdar they reduced Delhi’s numbers on the mat and got an ALL OUT of their own to reduce the gap to three points.
Just when it seemed that the momentum had shifted in favour of Paltan, Delhi hit back, Ashish’s tackle on a quick thinking Mohamedreza Chiyaneh bringing the crowd to its feet. Chiyaneh, notorious for his quick raids was caught out for once as Dabang wrestled him and the lead back within their grasp.
The final five minutes of the game descended into a frenzy, with the two teams never separated by more than two points at any stage. With the final two raids of the evening Paltan picked up the crucial points that drew them level, and deservedly to a tie.