Jaipur Panthers registers its first win

In a low-scoring battle between the bottom two teams, host Jaipur Pink Panthers edged past Telugu Titans by four points and registered its first win of the season at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday.

It was an evenly contested match between Jaipur Pink Panthers and Telugu Titans.   -  Rohit Jain Paras

In a low-scoring battle between the bottom two teams, host Jaipur Pink Panthers edged past Telugu Titans 28-24, registering its first win in the fourth edition of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium here on Wednesday.

Rajesh Narwal led the charge for Jaipur with eight points in the evenly matched contest that had both teams taking little risks and hoping for errors from the opposition. For a large part of the game, Jaipur's first at home, the teams stayed level, going into half-time tied on 12 points with not a single all-out in the first 20 minutes.

>Match Centre: Pink Panthers v Telugu Titans

Telugu Titans, which began the raids, took the lead (11-10) with two minutes to go for half-time and Jaipur immediately opted for its first substitution of the game. Out went Jawahar and in came newly-acquired raider Mahipal Narwal and the latter immediately proved the decision right with a two-point super tackle that saw the teams go level.

The second half saw both sides upping the ante but even though Rajesh did his part, the other experienced players in the side – Shabeer Bappu and captain Jasvir Singh in particular – disappointed despite sharing the bulk of raiding opportunities.

>Match Centre: U Mumbai v Patna Pirate >s

The first all-out came for Jaipur in the 32nd minute and the host went ahead 24-17, that seven-point advantage proving to be the turning point of the game. It was triggered by Rajesh Narwal's two-point raid when the Titans had been reduced to just two men.

The host held on to the lead and though the Titans tried to fight back through the team's top scoring all-rounder Sandeep Narwal, it was unable to do so as Jasvir added the finishing touches in style with the winning point in the last second of the game.

Raiders Vinoth Kumar and Nilesh Salunke, both acquired in the recent auctions, did their part but a comparitively weak defence let them down. While the Titans now remains at the bottom with two losses in as many games, Jaipur leapfrogged to third with a win and a loss each in its two outings so far.

The day's second match saw U Mumba take on Patna Pirates in a repeat of last season's final and defending champion Patna emerged the winner with a 36-34 scoreline. It was Pirates' second win of the season in as many games.

It was more a battle of two raiders rather than two teams as Pardeep Narwal and Rishank Devadiga competed for maximum points. Narwal, the 19-year old top-raider in the previous edition and largely responsible for the team's title-winning attacks, proved that his previous performance wasn't a fluke. The youngster led Patna's charge with an incredible 18 points to help Patna open up a 10-point lead by the 31st minute.

Devadiga had other ideas and his 11 points not only brought Mumba back in the game but also took it close to a famous victory. An all-out effected by Mumba in the 38th minute saw the teams go level on 33-33. Devadiga took a bonus point, Narwal hit back with a two-pointer and an unsuccessful final raid by Mumba captain Anup Kumar sealed the issue.

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