Hosts Jaipur Pink Panthers played out a highly entertaining 28-28 tie against Gujarat Fortunegiants in the 100th match of Pro Kabaddi League season seven at Jaipur’s Sawai Man Singh stadium on Saturday.
Both defences produced a masterclass in the opening match of the Jaipur leg but the Pink Panthers will rue missing out on a win despite taking a healthy lead in the first half.
Both teams started the match with aggressive defensive shapes. The raiders struggled to get a stranglehold of the match as the defenders kept putting in successful tackles.
The Pink Panthers, boosted by the return of Vishal, looked slightly better, and the marginal difference in quality was all the Pink Panthers needed to inflict an all-out on the Gujarat Fortunegiants in the 13th minute.
The all-0ut also opened a 6-point lead for the home side.
Both sets of raiders continued to be below average post the all-out with only Jaipur captain Deepak Niwas Hooda impressing in his raids as Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh looked distraught on the sidelines.
The first half ended 15-10 with Jaipur on top.
Jaipur started the second half on the front foot with Vishal picking up a High 5 but the Gujarat defence picked their game up to halt the Jaipur dominance.
The visitors picked up their all-out in the 7th minute of the second half to cut short Jaipur’s lead to two points. The match continued to be played on the defence as both sets of defenders kept thwarting all the raiders who came their way.
Gujarat moved to a three-point lead with less than four minutes left in the match through a successful raid by Sachin and a tackle by Parvesh Bhainswal.
But Vishal pulled out a successful super tackle to once again make it a one-point match in the dying minutes.
Nitin Rawal then replicated that feat by producing another Super Tackle to level the points at 24-24 with under three minutes left to play.
Gujarat must have felt like they had secured a tie when they successfully tackled Deepak Hooda but Jaipur’s Nitin Rawal produced yet another super tackle to give the Pink Panthers the lead.
The Jaipur all-rounder secured his High 5 in the process but he was tackled in the final raid of the match by Gujarat to force the tie.
The share of spoils came as a blow for both teams who are chasing the top six sides for a place in the playoffs. Pink Panthers remained in seventh position two points behind sixth-placed U Mumba, while the Fortunegiants remained in the tenth spot with 38 points from 17 matches.
UP Yoddha jump to fourth place
UP Yoddha produced a clinical performance to beat Tamil Thalaivas 42-22 in the second game on Saturday.
The Thalaivas, who led the encounter for most of the first half, will only have themselves to blame for a second-half capitulation that saw the UP side inflict three all-outs on them.
Tamil Thalaivas did not start the match like a team at the bottom, playing only for pride. They were composed, aggressive at the right instances and dominated most of the first half.
Rahul Chaudhari rolled back the years with his fine raiding, reminiscent of his days at the lead raider for the Telugu Titans, while in defence Ran Singh and Abishek were having an equally good match.
The Thaialvas picked up their first all-out of the match in the 10th minute to open a five-point lead which brought smiles to what has thought the season been a gloomy camp.
But the problem with the Thalaivas this season have been their inability to be clinical and they allowed UP Yoddha back into the match with a few errors creeping up in the defence.
Shrikant Jadhav then produced a stellar four-point super raid in the buzzer raid of the half to reduce Thalaivas’ lead to a single point. The half ended with the Chennai-based team edging UP 14-13.
UP Yoddha inflicted their first all-out in the first minute after the restart and it was one-way carnage post that by the UP team.
Shrikant Jadhav and Surinder Gill stepped up in the raids as points came easy via an error-prone Tamil defence while on the other side Sumit and Ashu Singh were having a night to remember in the UP defence.
The UP team inflicted another all-out in the 8th minute of the half to move to a 10-point lead. Sumit picked a High 5 as the trend continued with UP Yoddha clinching yet another all-out with five minutes left in the match to all but secure the win.
The team tested their bench in the final minutes as they saw out the victory that helped them jump to fourth on the points table. The match ended Thalaivas’ hope of making it to the playoffs.
On Sunday, Gujarat Fortunegiants will face U Mumba in a crucial encounter in the playoff race before Jaipur Pink Panthers take on the formidable Bengal Warriors.
|RANK||TEAM||MATCHES PLAYED||WON||LOST||DRAW||Score Difference||POINTS|
|1||DABANG DELHI K.C||16||13||2||1||68||69|
|7||JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS||17||7||8||2||-6||46|