Puneri Paltan warmed themselves up for the difficult semi-final battle ahead by swamping Bengal Warriors 43-19 in their concluding round robin game of the Pro Kabaddi League at the NSCI Vallabhai Patel Stadium, here yesterday.
Puneri Paltan were ahead of their rivals, who, too, have already qualified for the knock out rounds scheduled in Delhi, from the first minute of play and never relented their hold to ensure they finished third on the league table with 48 points, one better than Bengal, after notching their seventh win.
At half time, the Pune side led 20-18. Deepak Hooda led Puneri Paltan in attack by garnering 13 points, including one bonus. He was given adequate support in this department by teammates Tushar Patil (4) and Nilesh Salunkhe (5).
In defence, Surjeet was solid for the winners and accumulated 7 points, while he also picked up one raid point. Manjeet Chillar (4) stood shoulder to shoulder with him. For Bengal, Mahendra Rajput stood out with (6) raid points along with substitute Kedar Sharma (3), while Jang Kun Lee (3) and captain Nilesh Shinde (3 with a super tackle) did well in defence.
Later, U Mumba rocketed to the top of the table by whipping Dabang Delhi 36-20 in the concluding match of their home leg. Mumbai led 15-8 at half-time. In the semi finals, to be held on March 4, Mumbai would take on Bengal Warriors while Patna Pirates would lock horns with Puneri Paltan.
Mumbai, who notched their fourth straight win at home, were far superior to their rivals who had little to play for except pride in their concluding encounter.
Captain Anup Kumar (7)and Rishank Devadiga (8) were in the forefront in attack for Mumbai along with Rakesh Kumar (4). In defence it was a combined effort from Surender Nada (4), Jeeva Kumar (2), Mohit Chillar (2) and Vishal Mane (2).
For bottom-of-the-table Delhi, captain K Selvamani (6) led the attack with some support from substitute Jay Bohara (2), while Sandeep Dhull (4), Anil Nimbolkar (2) and Seong Ryeol Kim (2) did well in defense.