Mumbai: Three days into the Kabaddi extravaganza and once again the crowd swelled to capacity at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel complex. Despite the otherwise gloomy weather, throngs of supporters braved the unpredictable weather for the kabaddi spectacle. The first match of the night would see two teams still chasing down their maiden win of the league. Puneri Paltan- the neighbours from across the border enjoyed the loud and noisy support extended to them by the U Mumba faithful.
Pune were off to a slow start losing precious ground to the sharp and determined looking Delhi unit, who looked completely dialled in, not allowing the Puneri Paltans to settle. The key co-ordination that was missing in the first match against Bengaluru seems to have returned and this Delhi team certainly looked like stamping their authority over this match early on.
As the half wore on Pune started to make in-roads into the match and managed to close the gap to 8 points, Wazir Singh, displayed immense bravery riding challenges and sailing through, he was however caught under the left eye and was left bleeding after successfully evading a challenge.
The second half saw an immediate revival of the Puneri challenge, whatever coach Ramphal Kaushik said seemed to have worked instantly. Wazir Singh captain of the Paltans led from the front and in the 22nd minute he managed to tag out the last two antis of Delhi to secure their first LONA points. The crowd went berserk as Pune then closed the gap to a tantalising 3 points, a comeback looked on the cards. The match swayed back and forth down to as close as a single point before the highlight of match came about. Surjeet Narwal best raider on the night stepped into the Puneri half and rose to the height of a full grown person to evade the incoming challenge and return home safely, thus ejecting two members of the Paltans with him. The second half remained a tightly contested affair up until the last minute of the match when Delhi put together a slew of successful raids to streak ahead. The match ended 35-31 in favour of Dabang Delhi.