Arjun Deshwal put up a magnificent performance as the Jaipur Pink Panthers secured a 2023-24 Pro Kabaddi League semi-finals spot following a 67-30 victory over UP Yoddhas on Monday.
Deshwal top-scored with 20 raid points, while defenders Sunil Kumar & Ankush contributed with a high five each.
Mahipal picked up a couple of raid points as the Yoddhas inched ahead at 3-2 in the 4th minute. Sumit tackled Ajith Kumar and reduced the Panthers to just two members on the mat.
However, Abhishek KS pulled off a super tackle on Gagana Gowda as the Jaipur side levelled the scores at 7-7 in the 8th minute. Moments later, the Panthers tackled Mahipal and inched ahead at 9-8 in the 10th minute.
Ankush tackled Gowda and Ajith effected a raid as the Panthers built a slender lead at 13-10 in the 15th minute. Deshwal then pulled off a magnificent raid and reduced the Yoddhas to just one member on the mat.
The Panthers rode on the momentum and inflicted an all out to take a decent lead at 18-11. Deshwal continued to showcase brilliant form as the Pink Panthers went into the break leading at 23-11.
The Jaipur based team inflicted an all out in the opening minutes of the second half and extended their lead further at 27-12.
Ashu Singh picked up a tackle point and Gowda took out Ankush on a raid, but the Panthers still held a considerable lead at 28-15 in the 25th minute.
Amirhossein Mohammad Maleki and Arjun Deshwal picked up raid points as the Panthers inflicted another all out to completely dominate the game at 37-15.
The Pink Panthers continued to put relentless pressure on their opponents for the rest of the game and eventually wrapped up a comprehensive victory.
Bengal Warriors beat U Mumba
Bengal Warriors got one step closer to the qualification bracket with a massive 46-34 win over the U Mumba.
The Warriors’ raiding trio of Maninder Singh (10 points), Nitin Kumar (8 points) and S Vishwas (8 points) were the difference between the two teams on the day.
In an electric start, the Warriors notched up six unanswered points in the opening five minutes, before U Mumba could even open their account. And even when they did, they were pegged back almost immediately, with the Warriors registering the first all out of the game to take a 11-2 lead.
The Warriors seemed to be cruising through the early periods of the second half, but a series of successful raids by Shivam, one of which ended as a super raid taking out Shubham Shinde and R Guhan saw Mumba inflict an all out of their own to claw back into the game, with over 15 minutes to play.
The Warriors did not let that setback affect their dominance though, and almost immediately Maninder took charge again, racking in touch points to reduce the Mumba numbers.
With eight minutes of the game left, they inflicted a second all out to re-establish a huge lead. Going into the final minutes, Mumba were struggling to try and get a point out of the game, with the Warriors keen to shut them out.
To their credit, U Mumba never truly lost hope or curled over, and had reduced the Warriors numbers in the final minute. A super tackle by Harsh Lad, kept the all out at bay and in the end it was a dominant first half performance that took the Warriors to a deserved victory.