U Mumba were trailing Jaipur Pink Panthers by 13 points with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second half. So far in the league, matches in have been decided by smallest of margins but the deficit is far less than 13 points. In this match, the home fans were as loud as ever but there was a sense of resignation around the stadium. The match looked well and truly over, Jasvir Singh and Mumbai’s leaky defence seemed to have given up even before half of the second half was done.
But U Mumba went about testing that notion of a 13-point gap. Between the 10th and the 20th minute of the second half, they ensured that Jaipur Pink Panthers did not get a single point while churning as many as they could. In that intervening period, the Pink Panthers suffered an all out, their first and only in the entire match. All this while, Jasvir Singh, leading the team in the absence of Manjeet Chillar, was calling for calm within his ranks. Whether there was any calmness involved, only the players would know, but Jaipur somehow saw it through with the final score being 36-39 in their favour.
‘Calm’ is not exactly the adjective one can use while describing Jasvir and Jaipur in the first half of the match. Jasvir got into heated arguments with his opponents on more than a few occassions in the early minutes of the match, even earning a Green Card for his beahaviour in that period. U Mumba captain Anup Kumar expressed his dissapointment in the post match press conference about the officials not suspending Jasvir. “It was not just his composure, even during the game, he was using his knees. I don’t know how he did not get a suspension,” he said. Jasvir had the U Mumba defenders scampering to find cover during his raids. It is telling that, while the Pink Panthers were all out once in the dying embers of the match, U Mumba were all out four times. Any team that have been dismissed that many times in a single match rarely survive to tell the tale.