Patna Pirates registered a convincing 35-27 win against Puneri Paltan at the Kankarbagh stadium in Patna on Thursday.
Playing at home seemed to have given the Pirates a lift. They went into the match with a victory against Dabang Delhi on Wednesday. Pune, on the other hand, had suffered a confidence-sapping defeat against leaders U Mumba in their last game.
The win against Delhi had given the boys from Patna some confidence, and this reflected during crucial moments in their game against Pune.
Interestingly, both teams did not have the best of starts to the game as they gave away points in the opening stages. This seemed to prompt both defences to tighten up.
Pirates' star raider and skipper Rakesh Kumar tried to find his way through the Pune defence as the boisterous crowd egged him on. He, however, was thwarted by the Paltan defence. Pune, not content on sitting back, launched an attack of their own. Jitesh Joshi tried to slip through the hands of the Pirates but they saw to it that a lead was not conceded.
At this juncture, with the teams intent on seizing the initiative, Rakesh decided to take the bull by the horns. He made forays into the Pune corner, and suddenly the Pirates led. The score was 9 -5 in Patna's favour.
Pune, with captain and star raider Wazir Singh, had to hit back with something. Joshi stepped up and delivered by scoring a point. This gave them the impetus to claw their way back into the game. 10 minutes later, the score was 16-14 in their favour.
The Pirates now needed a dose of inspiration and that came their way as they mounted attacks of their own. Within a few minutes, they started to dominate and took the lead again. The score was then 22-16 in Patna's favour.
Thereafter, Patna continued their dominance throughout the game. The Pirates hardly put a foot wrong as they attacked at will. This strategy paid off as Pune were pushed back and could not repel the attacks. As pressure mounted, Pune did try to force their way back into the game but the Pirates held on.
With the win, Patna moved up one spot in the points table.
1] U Mumba 33 points
2] Bengaluru Bulls 16 points
3] Patna Pirates 16 points
4] Jaipur Pink Panthers 15 points
5] Dabang Delhi 13 points
6] Bengal Warriors 10 points
7] Telugu Titans 9 points
8] Puneri Paltan 8 points