Jaipur Pink Panthers extended their winning spree to seven matches as they secured an emphatic 42-25 victory over the Bengal Warriors in a 2023-24 Pro Kabaddi League on Monday.
Arjun Deshwal (15 raid points) and Ankush (6 tackle points) were the top performers of the match as the two-time champions extended their unbeaten streak.
There was very little to separate the two sides from the start. Maninder Singh began with a 2-point raid and Vaibhav Garje got a couple of early tackles as the Bengal Warriors held on to a slim lead.
However, their lead did not go beyond a point as the defending champions constantly breathed down their necks. Bhavani Rajput powered the Pink Panthers ahead at 10-8 and they held on to it to go into the break leading 13-12.
The major concern for Jaipur Pink Panthers was the fact that their ace raider Deshwal was on the bench for nine minutes in the opening half.
That changed in the second half as a multi-point raid from Deshwal reduced the Bengal Warriors to two men on the mat.
Maninder managed a two-point raid of his own, but it was not enough to prevent the all out. Iranian defender Reza Mirbagheri produced a wonderful dash from the left to tackle Maninder and the side from Jaipur led 24-19 with 12 minutes left.
The defending champions tightened their defence thereon and an iron-clad ankle hold from Ankush on Vishwas saw their lead extend to tenpoints at 30-20. It also brought up a high five for the defender.
Shrikant Jadhav got a super tackle to help his side’s comeback attempt, but that was undone by another brilliant multi-point raid from Deshwal, which paved the way for a second all out in the 39th minute.
Deshwal registered his seventh super ten on the trot as Jaipur Pink Panthers cruised to their seventh consecutive win.
Haryana Steelers beat Telugu Titans
The Haryana Steelers rode on the brilliance of their defence to beat the Telugu Titans 37-30 later in the day. An outstanding Rahul Sethpal picked up eight tackle points and he was supported ably by his defensive partner Mohit Nandal, who scored six points of his own.
The Telugu Titans flew to a superb start and had the Haryana Steelers scrambling for numbers early on. The Haryana Steelers have made a habit of doing more with less though and so it proved yet again, their defence outlasting the Titan's desire to inflict an all out.
In an electrifying passage of play, Sethpal pulled down Pawan Sehrawat for three super tackles in a row, to not just stave off an all out but also lead to a reversal in the scoreline and situation on the mat.
They inflicted an all out on the Telugu Titans to take a 20-11 lead and never looked back. At the end of the first half Sethpal, by himself had more tackle points than the entire Telugu Titans defence and the Haryana Steelers went into the break leading by 12 points.
The Haryana Steelers brilliant defending kept racking them points through the second half, and just like the first, they relied on an incredible run of super tackles to extend their lead. A lacklustre Sehrawat was substituted early in the half as the Telugu Titans tried a reset of tactics.
It worked in part as the Titans inflicted an all out of their own with three minutes left to cut the lead down to six points. The Steelers played to run down the clock though and saw the game out smartly to take the win.