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PKL 8: Aslam Inamdar stars as Puneri Paltan beat Telugu Titans

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Bengaluru, Dec 25 (IANS) An all-round performance by Aslam Inamdar (8 points) helped Puneri Paltan beat Telugu Titans 34-33 in a Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 match on Christmas day at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here. Siddharth Desai scored 15 points for the Telugu Titans but had no support from fellow raiders including captain Rohit Kumar as Pune secured a last-second victory. This was the first win of the season for Puneri Paltan.

The match started with all the eyes on top raiders Rahul Chaudhari and Siddharth Desai. Chaudhari struggled again to make an impression with his early raids for Pune while Desai showed why he is rated so highly with powerful moves including massive hand-touches. But his teammate and captain Rohit Kumar seemed to be moving gingerly and struggled to have an effect on the match for the Titans.

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Aslam Inamdar seemed to be the brightest hope for Pune, who did not have Nitin Tomar in the line-up on Saturday. Telugu Titans got lucky as four Pune defenders jumped into the lobby to tackle Desai who had already gone out of bounds. The shift in momentum happened in the next move and Desai secured a 3-point Super Raid in the last minute to end the half 20-14 in Titans’ favour.

Pune regrouped in the second half and capitalised on ‘itans’ lack of a strong raider to assist Desai. Mohit Goyat’s brilliant 3-point raid fetched the Pune team an all-out and a slender 2-point lead in the 7th minute of the half. But Desai then put it a 3-point Super Raid to clinch his Super 10 and level the scores at 25-25 with 10 minutes remaining. Interestingly Rahul Chaudhari wasn’t part of the Pune seven in the second half after being benched while defender Abinesh Nadarajan raced to his High 5 with some clean tackling.

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Desai ensured the Titans got their all-out with three minutes left on the clock to get a 2-point lead. But Aslam Inamdar, with a tackle and multiple quick raids, ensured the momentum shifted back to Pune. A blunder in the last raid by Rakesh Gowda, where he miscalculated a Bonus Point, handed Pune a 1-point victory.

–IANS

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