PKL: Panthers’ raiders foils U Mumba’s homecoming

Jasvir Singh’s and Pawan Kumar’s scintillating raids enforced three U Mumba all-outs with the Panthers sitting pretty with a hefty 16-point lead with six minutes left in the game.

U Mumba captain Anup Kumar is trapped by an immaculate Jaipur Pink Panthers defensive unit in Mumbai on Friday.   -  Special Arrangement

Playing in its own backyard on the festive day of Ganesh Chaturthi wasn’t enough for U Mumba to get its topsy-turvy Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season-five campaign back on track.

Jasvir Singh and Pawan Kumar of Jaipur Pink Panthers compounded the miseries for the home team as the duo's superlative performance resulted in the former registering a 39-36 win at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) on Friday. Their scintillating raids enforced three U Mumba all-outs with the Panthers sitting pretty with a hefty 16-point lead with six minutes left in the game.

However, at the end of the last time-out, Anup Kumar's men rallied to finally show some spark. The last five minutes saw U Mumba register a 12-point streak, thus lending a respectable look to the scoreline in the battle between the two former champions.

After a safe start, both the sides were locked at eight points apiece 13 minutes into the opening half. Jasvir, the Jaipur captain, then turned the tide in the visiting team's favour with two exceptional raids in the next two minutes. The first one saw him ousting all three remaining U Mumba defenders, thus also earning the two points' bonus for the home team's all-out.

Jasvir's next raid also resulted in a three-pointer, thus opening a decisive lead. The on-song Jaipur raider ensured that U Mumba was all-out yet again by half-time. The 10-point difference, with Jaipur leading 24-14, was enough to seal the contest for the visitors.

Deepak Narwal's late charge helped Bengal Warriors stage a stunning comeback in the last quarter to hold defending champion Patna Pirates to a thrilling tie in a late-night match.

The scores:

Jaipur Pink Panthers 39 (Jasvir Singh 10, Pawan Kumar 9, Sunil Siddhgavali 6) bt U Mumba 36 (Anup Kumar 7, Kuldeep Singh 6).

Patna Pirates 36 (Pardeep Narwal 7, Vishal Mane 6, Vinod Kumar 6) drew with Bengal Warriors 36 (Deepak Narwal 36, Jang Kun Lee 6, Surjeet Singh 6).