Home side Jaipur Pink Panthers resembled the side of the start of the season as they crushed Puneri Paltan 43-34 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday to snap a nine-game winless streak and revive their hopes of making the playoffs this season.
Deepak Niwas Hooda (12 points) and Deepak Narwal (11 points) picked up Super 10s for the Jaipur side who dominated in all departments to clinch a victory that helped then close the gap on sixth-placed UP Yoddha to just one point.
Captain Hooda led from the front as the home side dominated the early minutes of the match. Thankfully for the Pink Panthers, the return of Deepak Narwal and Nilesh Salunke to line-up meant there was enough back up in the raiding department.
The dominance rubbed off on the defence as well as Sandeep Dhull and Amit Hooda thrived in the left and right corners respectively. Unfortunately for Paltan, their star raider Pankaj Mohite was having an off night, and their lack of raiding strength finally saw them succumb to an all-out in the 9th minute of the match.
Jaipur maintained that seven-point lead they opened up after the all-out till the half time interval leading 20-13 at the break.
Puneri Paltan were in no mood to give up easily though, and young Pankaj Mohite sparked a comeback in the early minute of the second half with some clever raiding.
Balasaheb Jadhav tightened his efforts in the defence and that helped Pune clinch an important all-out in the 7th minute of the half to make it a two-point game.
But the Jaipur defence improved their game at the right moment and from thereon Jaipur dominated the match.
They inflicted another all-out on Pune with five minutes remaining as Deepak Narwal secured a Super 10. Deepak Hooda also completed his Super 10 in the dying minutes as Jaipur secured an important win at their home stadium, their first of this home leg.
Maninder Singh sizzles as Bengal hit the summit
Maninder Singh scored 17 points as Bengal Warriors edged Telugu Titans 40-39, a victory that catapulted them to top of the table in the earlier Pro Kabaddi game on Wednesday.
Siddharth Desai scored 15 points for Titans but their defence had no answers to Maninder. With the loss, their hopes of making the top six are all but over.
The first half was evenly-matched as Maninder Singh was dominant in his raids for the Warriors while Rajnish looked lively in the early minutes for the Titans.
While Maninder made an impact with his raiding skills, it was a lucky break that helped the Warriors pull clear. Having gone out of bounds, three Telugu Titans defenders followed him into the lobby reducing the Hyderabad outfit to just two men on the mat. Maninder then produced a four-point raid in his next foray to secure an all-out in the 15th minute of the match.
The Warriors continued to dominate despite Desai’s best attempts at reducing the lead, going into half-time with a 19-13 lead.
The Titans started the second half positively with Desai picking up valuable raid points.
In defence, Vishal Bhardwaj looked his ominous best while Farhad Milaghardan’s all-round abilities played a crucial role as the Titans scripted a comeback. The Titans utilised the momentum to secure an all-out in the fourth minute of the second half to gain a lead in the match.
Maninder, the Punjab-born raider, though, single-handedly annihilated the Telugu defence to restore his team’s lead.
The Warriors secured their all-out with under seven minutes left in the game to open up a four-point lead. Maninder and his teammates then controlled their nerves to clinch an important win in the dying minutes.
On Thursday, Dabang Delhi would look to regain their position at the top of the table with a win over Patna Pirates who would be looking for full points too to stay alive in the hunt for the playoffs.