Deepak Narwal shone bright to guide Jaipur Pink Panthers to a 41-34 win over defending champions Bengaluru Bulls in a Pro Kabaddi League match here on Friday.
Deepak scored 16 points and was supported in the raiding department by Nilesh Salunke (9 points) as Jaipur maintained an outside chance of qualifying for the season seven playoffs.
Pawan Sehrawat secured yet another super 10 (14 points) but Bengaluru’s defence couldn’t match the Panthers on the night.
Pink Panthers were in no mood to let Bulls’ Pawan dictate the game as their defenders tackled the superstar raider twice in the early minutes to open up a three-point lead.
Unfortunately for the season one champions, their captain and lead raider Deepak Niwas Hooda was not part of the squad, which meant they had to rely on the skills of Nilesh and Deepak for the raids.
Similarly, Bengaluru’s secondary raider for the night was Sumit Singh as their captain Rohit Kumar once again missed a match due to an injury.
The game sprung to life in the eighth minute when Nilesh secured a three-point super raid.
Bulls reacted immediately with a three-point super raid by Pawan and that sparked a series of high scoring moves as both sets of raiders found mistakes in the defences.
Pawan secured his super 10 but no team could inflict an all-out in the first half that saw five super raids and ended 20-18 in favour of the Panthers. The second half started with a super tackle on Pawan but that was pretty much the only positive play in the early minutes for the Pink Panthers who conceded an all-out in the sixth minute after the restart.
The all-out, however, did not shatter Panthers’ belief and their hard work paid off with seven minutes remaining when a super tackle on Pawan by Sandeep Dhull was followed up by a two-point raid by Deepak levelled the score at 31-31.
The last few minutes saw both sides trading blows. Guman Singh impressed for the Pink Panthers from the bench.
Sandeep successfully tackled Pawan in the penultimate minute to give Panthers a two-point lead. The defence held firm in the final minute as Jaipur clinched an all-Out and an important victory.
HARYANA STEELERS BEAT TELUGU TITANS
Vikas Kandola was once again the star for Haryana Steelers as he helped his side finished off their Pro Kabaddi League home leg with a thumping 52-32 victory over Telugu Titans here on Friday.
Vikas Kandola scored 13 raid points and Ravi Kumar picked up seven tackle points as Haryana dominated the match right from the first whistle till the end in front of a packed audience at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex here.
The match started with both teams opting for an aggressive approach.
Titans’ Siddharth Desai and Rakesh Gowda looked eager in their raids while Haryana’s raiding trio of Vikas Kandola, Vinay and Prashanth Kumar Rai were also looking menacing for the opposition defence.
The home side opened a lead towards the 10th-minute mark thanks to Vikas Kanadola and Vinay contributing through multi-point raids. Haryana sealed their first All-Out in the 11th minute to open up a 4-point advantage.
After the All-Out, the Steelers took control of the match with Vikas Kandola impressing with his raids. The raider moved to nine raid points as the Haryana side inflicted another All-Out with less than three minutes remaining in the first half to open a 16-point lead.
The first half ended 30-12 with Steelers on top.
The home side were in no mood of giving up their momentum in the second half and Vikas Kandola, who secured his Super 10, inspired another All-Out on Titans in the fourth minute to open up a 24-point lead.
The trend continued, despite Siddharth Desai picking up a Super 10 for the Titans, as Haryana maintained a healthy lead. Ravi Kumar and Sunil were having a good day on the mat for the Steelers as they dominated the final minutes that also saw Thailand captain Tin Phonchoo make a cameo experience for the Steelers.
Haryana crossed the 50-point mark with two minutes remaining before clinching a much-need victory.
The result will soothe the hurt ego of the Steelers who were battered by the Bengaluru Bulls and Pawan Sehrawat in their previous encounter.