Jaipur Pink Panthers register a clinical 31-26 win over Puneri Paltan

Arjun Deshwal scored his seventh super 10 in as many matches this season

Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Puneri Paltan by a scoreline of 31-26 in the 39th match of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 at the Sheraton Grand Convention Centre in Bengaluru on Saturday climbing up three places in the standings to the 7th position.

The Jaipur Pink Panthers surprised everyone as they dropped their skipper Deepak Niwas Hooda from the starting 7. Arjun Deshwal carried the responsibility of the Panthers and picked the first three points of the match for the inaugural champions. Sandeep Dhull was fantastic in the defense with 3 tackle points in the first 6 minutes of the match. 

Jaipur had a lead of 6 points with a score of 2-8. Puneri Paltan’s talismanic leader Nitin Tomar made a comeback after his injury and scored a point in his first raid. The Paltan delayed the all-out but it seemed inevitable. They were all-out in the 12th minute of the match and Pink Panthers held a mammoth lead of 8 points at 14-6.

Young raiders of the Puneri Paltan, Aslam Inamdar, and Pankaj Mohite were clinical post the all-out on the struggling Jaipur Pink Panthers defense and staged a comeback and reduced the deficit to just a solitary point. Towards the end of the first half, star raider Hooda was substituted on the mat by the Pink Panthers.

Deshwal scored 8 out of the 10 raid points that the Jaipur-based franchise picked up in the first half of the encounter. Both the teams had an impressive raid strike rate of over 55% in the first half.

Puneri Paltan had a poor raid success rate of 28.957%

Puneri Paltan had a poor raid success rate of 28.957%

The match was evenly poised in the second half as well with scores tied at 20-20 till the 25th minute of the match. The Pink Panthers were overreliant on Deshwal, especially in do-or-die raids. The raider has proved himself with a raid strike rate of over 110% in do-or-die situations. He also completed his seventh consecutive ‘Super 10’ in this edition of the PKL.

In the next five minutes, the Pink Panthers scored 3 points while the Paltan fired a blank as Mohit Goyat, Inamdar, and Mohite were on the bench. Tomar was substituted back into the match to handle the responsibility of the offensive unit. Both the teams had slowed down the pace of the contest as they raided for a longer duration. 

Puneri Paltan reduced the lead to a solitary point with a rare successful tackle on Deshwal in a do-or-die raid. But Jaipur restored the lead and with 3 minutes to go, they were comfortably placed with a 30-23 lead. The Pink Panthers held onto the lead and bagged their third win of the tournament. 

Dhull and Sahul Kumar pocketed 4 tackle points each as they sparked a turn of fortunes for the defense of the pink outfit. The season 1 champions had a tackle success rate of 50%.

Puneri Paltan will lock horns with the Bengal Warriors on Sunday in their next match while the Jaipur Pink Panthers will face Dabang Delhi on Monday.