Three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 43-26 in a Pro Kabaddi League season 8 match and became the first team to qualify for playoffs, here on Thursday.Guman Singh was the star for the winning Patna side as the raider scored 13 points for the team.The table-toppers Pirates were made to sweat for their points in the first half by a resilient Pune side, but they switched gears in the second to decimate the men in orange. Aslam Inamdar scored 9 points for coach Anup Kumar's Pune, but all his points came in the first half.Patna Pirates had just a 1-point advantage at half time but two second-half all-outs helped them increase that to 16 points by the final whistle.Pune started the match on the front foot with the raiding duo of Aslam Inamdar and Mohit looking in red-hot form. They got the better of the Patna Pirates' raiders while at the other end Pune tightened the defence with Vishal Bhardwaj returning to the left corner position.Puneri Paltan was closing in on a well-earned all-out when tragedy struck them -- 4 of their defenders followed Patna Pirates raider Sachin into the lobby without a touch.
The stroke of luck helped Patna Pirates gain the upper hand and they clinched an all-out in the 17th minute.Guman Singh's 3-point Super Raid increased their lead, but Aslam Inamdar immediately changed the complexion of the game with a massive 4-point Super Raid for Pune. The neck-to-neck first half ended 18-17 with Patna holding on to a slender lead.The early part of the second half was played with caution as both teams sized each other up. The defenders slowly started getting into the game while the raiders slowed the pace down. Patna Pirates maintained a 3-point lead with 10 minutes on the clock, but Pune knew one big raid could change their fortunes. But Guman Singh's 2-point raid ensured there wasn't any immediate Pune fightback.The Pirates followed that athletic raid by producing a team tackle on Nitin Tomar to claw him away before his hand crossed the midline. That gave the Pirates an all-out and a 7-point lead with five minutes remaining.Guman Singh got his Super 10 as Patna opened a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining. Their defender Mohammadreza Shadloui marshalled his unit as they clinched another all-out through Sachin's 2-point raid. That gave Patna Pirates a 16-point lead and helped them seal the win.The victory also guaranteed a place into the vivo PKL season 8's playoffs for coach Ram Mehar Singh's Pirates.