Deepak Narwal guided Jaipur Pink Panthers to a much-needed 41-34 win over defending champion Bengaluru Bulls in a ProKabaddi League match in Panchkula on Friday.
The Jaipur raider, in the absence of his skipper Deepak Niwas Hooda, scored 16 raid points and was ably supported by Nilesh Salunke (9 points) as the Pink Panthers kept their hopes of qualifying for the season seven playoffs alive.
Meanwhile, Pawan Sehrawat secured yet another Super-10 (14 points to be exact) but the raider, nicknamed 'hi-flyer', was sent to the bench as many as five times.
Jaipur was in no mood to let Pawan dictate the game as its defenders tackled him successfully twice in the early minutes of the game to open up a three-point lead.
Bengaluru’s secondary raider for the night, Sumit Singh, filled in well for his captain Rohit Kumar, who once again missed out due to injury. Sumit ended the game with seven raid points and he had revived Pawan a number of times throughout the match.
MATCH BLOG| Pro Kabaddi - Panchkula leg final day matches
The game sprung to life in the eighth minute when Nilesh secured a three-point super raid. Bulls reacted immediately with a super raid of their own by Pawan and that sparked a series of high-scoring moves as both the defences kept gifting away points in the first half.
However, no team could inflict an all-out in the first half that saw five super raids and ended 20-18 in favour of the the men in pink.
The final 20 minutes began with a Super Tackle on Pawan but that was pretty much the only positive thing initially in the second half for Jaipur, which 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 one more Super Tackle on Pawan by Sandeep Dhull was followed up by a two-point raid by Deepak to level the scores at 31-31.
The last few minutes saw both sides trading blows. However, 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 important All-Out and a victory that keeps its playoff hopes alive. Substitute Guman Singh had an impressive outing for the Jaipur Pink Panthers.
- Haryana ends home leg with big win over the Titans from Hyderabad -
Vikas Kandola was once again the star for Haryana Steelers as he helped his side finish off its home leg with a thumping 52-32 win over Telugu Titans.
Vikas Kandola scored 13 raid points, while Ravi Kumar picked up seven tackle points as Haryana dominated the match right from the start in front of a packed audience at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex. The match started with both teams opting for an aggressive approach.
The home side opened up a reasonable lead towards the end of the 10th-minute, thanks to Vikas Kandola and Vinay contributing through multi-point raids. Haryana sealed its first All-Out in the 11th minute to increase the gap.
After the All-Out, the Steelers took control of the match with Vikas Kandola impressing with his quick raids. The raider moved to nine raid points as Haryana inflicted another All-Out with less than three minutes to go in the first half and opened up a 16-point lead. The first half ended 30-12 with the Steelers on top.
The home team was in no mood of giving up its momentum in the second-half and Vikas, who secured his Super 10, inspired another All-Out on Titans in the fourth minute to increase the lead to 24 points.
The trend continued, despite Siddharth Desai picking up a Super 10 himself for the Titans, as Haryana maintained a healthy lead throughout. Ravi Kumar and Sunil were having a good day on the mat for the Steelers as they kept dominating the Titans.
Thailand captain Tin Phonchoo made a cameo appearance for the Steelers as well. In the end, Haryana crossed the 50-point mark with two minutes remaining before clinching a much-need victory.