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Qualification on the line for both teams.
Puneri Paltan will win.
Tournament: Pro Kabaddi (PKL) | Venue: Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium, DelhiBet Now
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Welcome to the heavy weight bout of season 10 as hotshots Puneri Paltan take on the former champions Dabang Delhi. Both teams are on the verge of qualifying for the next round. The Paltan has a better strike rate as they have won 12 out of their 16 matches while Delhi has won 11 out of their 18 matches. Both teams get ready to face each other after hammering the Telegu Titans in their last match. The Paltan hammered the Titans by 31 points while Dabang smashed them by 11 points. Both teams have not lost any of their last 5 games. Though the Paltan was forced to settle for a TIE in back to back matches.
While Ashu Malik has been the torch bearer for Dabang Delhi, the Paltan has prospered due to their spicy defense. Hence this will be a fantastic face-off between the Puneri defense and Delhi raider Ashu Malik. Dabang Delhi will try and win this match so that they can finish in the top 2. But it won’t be easy as the Puneri Paltan has played 2 games lesser than Dabang. The Paltan has a slight advantage in this case as their last league match will be with the UP Yodha on the last day before the play-off begin.
Former champions Dabang Delhi had a wonderful outing as they beat the Telegu Titans comfortably. This was their 11th victory of the season which has taken them closer to the play-off. Post the injury to Naveen Kumar, Dabang Delhi have recovered well in time. They will sincerely hope that they quickly win another match so that Naveen Kumar can return for the big day.
Dabang Delhi defeated the Telegu Titans by 11 points. Captain Ashu Malik compensated for the lack for raiding support as he hammered 20 points. Ashu exploited the fragile Telegu defense as he looted with ease. The combination of Ashish and Yogesh were equally effective as they earned 10 tackle points between them. One of the biggest reasons for Delhi to make it to the top 5 has been this defensive combo. Ashish and Yogesh have collectively executed 87 successful tackles between them. Support raiders Manjeet and Meetu Sharma have provided decent support. But Dabang Delhi will suffer the moment Ashu Malik is out of form. He has earned 205 raid points from 175 successful raids. Ashu has the best strike rate among all raiders and he is the first to reach the double century of raid points in season 10.
Defense seems to be their strength too as left cover Himmat Antil has been impressive. Veteran Vishal Bharadwaj was scratchy in the first match but he made amends whenever he had the opportunity.
Dabang Delhi need to get their combination sorted at the earliest as they take on the mighty Puneri Paltan. Both teams have been scoring heavily in their last few games. Unfortunately Dabang does not have a great record against the Paltan. They have not beaten Pune since season 8. Dabang Delhi lost to the Paltan by 7 points in a low scoring match. This was their only encounter with them in season 10. Another major challenge for Delhi will be how to stop the relentless raids from the Puneri raiders as well as how to insulate Naveen Kumar from Pune defender Mohammedreza.
The Paltan has been the best team of this season. With 12 victories from 16 matches, they have the best efficiency. Apart from the Jaipur Pink Panthers, they are the only team to have lost just 2 matches in the season. The Puneri Paltan takes pride in teamwork. None of their raiders are in the top 10 but collectively, they are extremely dangerous. One for all and all for one has been their mantra.
The Paltan hammered the Telegu Titans in their last match. Pune tried almost all their players in the match. They ended up scoring 60 team points with their ruthless raiding and tackles. Young raider Akash Shinde got the opportunity and he topped it up with a Super 10. Defenders Mohammedreza and Abhinesh and Guarav Khatri were at their ruthless best as they hunted with precision. This win has also improved the score difference. Puneri Paltan have the best margin in terms of the score difference.The Puneri Paltan needs to maintain this momentum for the next few weeks so that they can cement their position at the top of the points table.
Pune has the highest average tackle points per match. Their success rate in team tackles is about 57% which is 12% higher than their nearest rivals Tamil Thalaiva.
The Paltan has inflicted 32 all-outs in16 matches which is 2 per match. This is the all-time best by any team in the PKL.
The Puneri Paltan has also adapted effortlessly. They have earned 57 DoD raid points which proves that whenever their raiding has been below average, they have readjusted their strategy. They need to be consistent with their raiding with the trio of Aslam, Mohit Goyat and Pankaj Mohite operating regularly. Mohit Goyat has been in phenomenal form while Aslam Inamadar has been earning well. But for a player of his caliber, Puneri fans are expecting more from their captain.
Puneri Paltan has generally dominated Dabang Delhi over the years. They have won 12 out of their 21 encounters. Pune won both their league games against Delhi last year and they would like to continue the trend.
The contest between two best teams of season 10 will be a delight. Dabang Delhi have survived the storm in the absence of Naveen Kumar apart from some weakness in their team. Captain Ashu Malik has been their antidote. He will score a Super 10 against the Paltan. But the support raiders may not earn enough. The Delhi defense will be totally dependent on Ashish and Yogesh. One of them will score a Hi 5. But the other defenders may leak points due to unforced errors.
The Puneri Paltan used delay tactics against Delhi in their last match. They slowed down the game drastically and won by 7 points. But this time, the Paltan will be run like a bullet train. They will take the lead by half-time. Their defense will seal the deal in the next 20 minutes. Mohammedreza and Gaurav Khatri will hunt as a unit as they will target Delhi captain Ashu Malik. Dabang Delhi may concede an odd all-out at a crucial moment in the second half.
Puneri Paltan will win.
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