Gujarat Giants’ defence proved to be too hot to handle for Jaipur Pink Panthers as the Season 1 Champions succumbed to a 34 – 27 defeat in Bengaluru.

Girish Maruti Ernak secured a high 5 (7 tackle points) and was ably accompanied by teammate Parvesh Bhainswal (4 raid points) as Gujarat secured an important victory to open their campaign.

Jaipur, despite matching blows for most of the match, didn’t have the raiding strength to a well-oiled Gujarat defence but will take positives from the tactical battle.

The teams traded blows early in the second half with Jaipur raider Arjun Deshwal securing his Super 10. Despite the best efforts from the raiders, there was nothing to separate both sides, with both defences keeping it tight.

With 6 minutes remaining in the match, the scores were tied 25-25. Gujarat’s left corner Girish Ernak secured his high 5 (5 or more tackle points) but the advantage was difficult to maintain. At the other end, Sandeep Dhull matched Ernak’s exploits with bold tackles from the Jaipur left corner.

Ravinder Pahal secured an important tackle in a Do-or-Die situation for Jaipur Pink Panthers and that proved to be vital in handing the advantage over to Gujarat. Parvesh Bhainswal then followed it up with a successful tackle for Gujarat to inflict an All Out on Panthers in the final minute to open up a 6-point lead and eventually win the match.

Naveeen Kumar leads Dabang Delhi to victory

Reigning Pro Kabaddi MVP Naveen Kumar continued where he left off last season, scoring 16 points to guide Dabang Delhi K.C. to a 41-30 victory over Puneri Paltan. All-rounder Vijay chipped in eight points for Delhi, while Nitin Tomar led the Paltan with seven points.

The Paltan were the early aggressors and led early in the game. But five quick raid points from Naveen reduced the Paltan down to just one player on the mat. Manjeet Chillar’s first tackle point of the season helped Delhi inflict the game’s first All Out and take a 10-5 lead.

Nitin Tomar and Rahul Chaudhari tried to spark a comeback, but Delhi’s corners Sandeep Narwal and Joginder Narwal sent the Paltan’s raiding duo to the bench. Naveen continued to haunt the Paltan’s defence and Delhi soon inflicted another All Out to extend their lead to 11.

The Paltan finished the half stronger, courtesy of three raid points from Tomar and a couple of strong tackles from their defence, as the teams headed into the break with Delhi leading 22-15.

With Naveen on the bench, the Paltan cranked up the heat in the second half and inflicted an All Out to cut Delhi’s lead to just four. But Naveen re-emerged from the bench and picked up a couple of points to complete his 22nd straight Super 10 in the PKL and help Delhi put some daylight between themselves and the Paltan on the scoreboard.

Monu Goyat stars as Patna Pirates win

A dazzling 15-point display from Monu Goyat and a couple of clutch raids from Sachin in the dying moments led Patna Pirates to a thrilling 42-39 win over the Haryana Steelers.

Rohit Gulia finished with a Super 10, while Surender Nada picked up a High 5 for the Steelers.

The first half saw both teams score in bursts. Vikash Kandola got off to a hot start, helping his side take a 4-1 lead and reducing the Pirates down to just three on the mat. An error from rookie Meetu Mahender and three quick points from Sachin saw Patna take the lead.

Both sides scored four points in the final three minutes of the half and headed into the halftime break with the Steelers leading 22-15.

Early in the second half, Goyat quickly turned the tide of the contest with some impeccable raiding. The veteran added four points to his team’s tally and left the Steelers with just one player on the mat. The Pirates’ defence pinned the raider down to inflict an All Out and take a one-point lead.

Goyat then added three more points to his tally, first with a stellar ankle hold on Kandola and then a two-point raid immediately after, which completed his Super 10, to help the Pirates take a six-point lead.

And the chaos ensued.

Down to just three players on the mat, Haryana’s defence managed two Super Tackles in succession to cut the Pirates’ lead down to just a couple of points. Goyat responded to his setback with a Super Raid that left the Steelers with a solitary player on the mat. He managed to pick a touch point, which revived Surender Nada, who Super Tackled Goyat to cut Patna Pirates’ lead down to just one.

A crucial tackle from the Pirates’ defence helped their side take a two-point lead. With under 30 seconds left, Gulia earned a point for his side and left just enough time on the clock for one last raid. Playing a high line with just three on the mat, the Steelers had to pin down Sachin to win the game. But the raider escaped with two touch points to win the game for the Pirates.