Bengaluru: Substitute Sunil Jaipal was the unlikely hero for Bengal Warriors as he scored eight invaluable points including two bonus in eight raids to guide his team to a 31-28 win over Puneri Paltan in the second Star Sports Pro-Kabaddi League here today.
The Warriors thus avenged their 29-33 defeat that they suffered against their opponents in the first leg at Jaipur. This is Kolkata's third win which takes their tally to 21 points while Pune move to 14 points. The result makes no difference in their standings. The winners are above Pune in seventh place.
The cautious approach employed by both the teams resulted in a 12-12 tie at the break. Only Mahendra Rajput with three for Kolkata and Yogesh Hudda and Jitesh Joshi with two and three respectively for Pune just about made the presence of raiders felt on court.
Amongst the defenders, Shyam Kukmar Sah of Kolkata was outstanding with four catches. For Pune, it was the duo of Harvinder and Ravi Kumar doing their job to perfection in defence. In fact so strong was Ravi that he even super tackled the Korean Jang Kun Lee.
Kolkata again suffered early on due to an off-colour of their captain Dinesh who had to be replaced after drawing a blank in six raids. The winners also replaced Mahendra Rajput but the move to bring on Vineet Sharma didn't bear fruit.
But Sunil Jaipal made amends for his earlier failures by claiming four victims in two raids that eventually facilitated the only all-out of the match. Pune had been successful in staving it off at least three times.
With their star raider Wazir Singh playing with an injury and Yogesh Hudda also not fully fit Pune were without any fire power in attack. Despite that they were lucky to keep the margin of defeat by less than seven points. With this defeat all hopes of Pune of making it to the top four have ended.