Jaipur Pink Panthers came back strongly in the second half against Haryana Steelers to eke out a close 27-27 draw the Pro Kabaddi League at Sonepat on Thursday. Nitin Rawal was the star for Jaipur as he scored 11 points on a night where the famed Pink Panthers defence had a forgettable outing.

Steelers looked on course for a comfortable victory allowed their opponents to find a foothold in the game in the second half, and had to settle for a tie. Steelers are now top of the table in Zone A with 49 points from 15 games. The Pink Panthers have 31 points from 10 games. Both the teams started slowly as it was 2-2 after three minutes. Deepak Kumar Dahiya scored with a two-point raid in the sixth minute as Steelers led 5-4.

Steelers extended their lead to 8-4 in the ninth minute as Dahiya scored another raid point. Nitin Rawal made a successful two-point raid as Jaipur Pink Panthers reduced the deficit to 6-8 in the 10th minute. Pink Panthers’ defence struggled to contain the flow of raids as they failed to score a single tackle point in the first 13 minutes.

Steelers effected an all-out in the 15th minute to lead 14-7. Rawal scored with another two-point raid as Pink Panthers trailed 9-14 after 16 minutes. Steelers led 17-9 at half-time as Pink Panthers defence couldn’t muster a single tackle point in the entire half.

Pink Panthers scored their first tackle point in the 22nd minute as they trailed 11-17. The former champions then scored three points in just under two minutes to trail 16-22 after 29 minutes. Steelers couldn’t get on the scoresheet as often as they did in the first half as they could score just 6 points in the first 12 minutes of the second half. Deepak Kumar Dahiya scored a raid point as Steelers led 24-19 after 33 minutes. Then. Rawal came up with a super raid in the 35th minute. The Pink Panthers, at this stage, had reduced the deficit to 22-25.

Pink Panthers went on to inflict an all-out in the next minute to level the match at 25-25. Surjeet Singh’s successful raid for the Steelers helped them take a share of the spoils.J