PKL: Tamil Thalaivas falters again

Bengal Warriors pipped Jaipur Pink Panthers 32-31 in a pulsating finish even as Tamil Thalaivas succumbed 30-33 to U Mumba.

Anup Kumar of U Mumbai tries to steal a point against Tamil Thalaivas.   -  R. RAGU

Bengal Warriors pipped Jaipur Pink Panthers 32-31 in a pulsating finish in the first match of the evening at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday. Bengal rode on star raider Maninder Singh's brilliance, as he stole the show with 16 points.

Coming off a thrilling last minute victory on Saturday night against Tamil Thalaivas, the Panthers were high on confidence but it was the Bengal Warriors that stepped up the ante when it mattered.

The first half was a tightly-contested affair that ended with Jaipur leading 12-11. The side started the second half with great fervour and inflicted an 'All Out' to clinch two extra points and race to a five-point lead at 18-13.

MATCHCENTRE

The Warriors slowly but steadily clawed their way back into the game to take the game to 21-22, trailing their opposition by a lone point. 

The Jaipur side continued to remain on top and sped to a four-point lead at 29-25, only for the Warriors to come back in spectacular fashion and inflict an all-out of its own to reduce the deficit to 29-30. 

With three minutes to go, the scores were tied at 30 each. Both teams fought with fierce determination and faced many an anxious moment, as neither side was able to secure a stronghold. The score remained even until the last minute, when the Warriors finally managed to steal one and sneak a one-point lead.

The final raid of the match saw Maninder secure a match-winning bonus point to snatch the tie away from the Panthers and with it, the side moved to 64 points from 19 games, only two points behind Zone B leader Patna Pirates.

THALAIVAS FALTER AGAIN

The second tie of the evening saw home side Tamil Thalaivas succumb to a 30-33 defeat to 2015 PKL champion U Mumba. Thalaivas, currently in its home leg of the season, is yet to register a single win on home soil. 

Captain Ajay Thakur — who scored 10 points — received some support from local lad K. Prapanjan, but largely fought a lone battle to get his side into the match, but the Mumbai side proved to be superior. 

A successful Kashiling Adake raid brought up a 10-5 lead for U Mumba, which soon increased to a more formidable 13-6.

MATCHCENTRE

However, Ajay led the Thalaivas' comeback and reduced the margin to 17-18 at the end of the half. The second half saw a more determined and sharper looking Tamil side as it took the fight to the opposition and leveled the scored at 26-all. 

The Mumbai side held onto its defence and scalped an 'All Out' to gain a three-point lead at 26-29 and there was no looking back there on. 

U Mumba coasted to a 33-30 win to remain fourth in Zone A, with 54 points from 18 games. 

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