PKL 8: Jaipur outclass Delhi, Tamil decimates Telugu in Southern Derby
Naveen Kumar was back after a lengthy injury layoff.
Deepak Hooda was the star for Jaipur Pink Panthers as they beat Dabang Delhi K.C. 36-30 in the first match of Day 5 in Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8’s Rivalry Week. The star raider clinched a Super 10 (12 points) and was supported well by his team’s defence. The win made it two in two attempts for the Season 1 champions who will slowly feel confident about clinching a playoff spot.
Dabang Delhi’s disorganized defence was the main reason for their downfall. Experienced stars Manjeet Chhillar, Jeeva Kumar and Joginder Narwal had very little effect on the match. They got just 7 tackle points in the entire PKL match (which included two Super Tackles). All-rounder Sandeep Narwal also had a poor outing, making errors in the defence and not involving in the raids. Vijay was the sole performer with 16 points.
Naveen Kumar was back for Delhi after a lengthy injury layoff, but it was his raiding partner Vijay who impressed in the early minutes. In fact, he was the only bright spot for Delhi as Jaipur raiders Deepak Hooda and Arjun Deshwal picked up easy points. Delhi’s balance in defence seemed to have been affected by Naveen’s comeback and Jaipur was quick to make the most of it.
Two Super Tackles close to the 10th minute helped Delhi level the points with Jaipur. But the Panthers eventually went on to clinch an ALL OUT in the 16th minute to open a 4-point lead. The Jaipur defenders didn’t allow Naveen Kumar any chance to settle, and Delhi substituted him for Neeraj Narwal close to the interval. The first half ended 21-15 with Jaipur in a comfortable lead.
Naveen Kumar continued to be benched in the second half as Vijay took over the lead raider duty for Delhi. He crossed his Super 10 as Dabang started aggressively chasing Jaipur. But despite Delhi’s best attempts they could not cut short Jaipur’s 7-point lead. All-rounder Sachin Narwal and substitute Nitin Rawal helped Jaipur extend their lead to 10 points.
Deepak Hooda clinched his Super 10 as Jaipur maintained the gap in the dying minutes. Vijay tried his best to draw Delhi closer with his raids and ensured Dabang lost the PKL match with a margin of just 6 points.
Tamil Thalaivas thrash Telugu Titans
Right corner Sagar clinched 9 tackle points. He helped Tamil Thalaivas thrash Telugu Titans 43-25 in the second match of Day 5 in PKL Season 8’s Rivalry Week. Sagar needed very little help from his teammates as he single-handedly kept the Titans raiders quiet in the Southern Derby. Sahil Gulia in the left corner picked up 4 points. Raiders Ajinkya Pawar (10 points) and Manjeet (9 points) excelled in the one-sided victory.
Telugu Titans were once again without sufficient quality across the mat. The absence of Siddharth Desai and Rajnish cost them dearly as they remained with just one win in the season.
Defence dominated the early minutes of the Southern Derby with both sides not giving an inch. The Telugu Titans, despite just having one win in the PKL season so far, were in no mood to let Thalaivas settle. Sandeep Kandola and Akash Choudhary were cautious in the corners for the Titans. Sagar was insatiable in the Thalaivas’ left corner.
The game shifted in balance towards the Tamil team in the 15th minute when Manjeet scored a 3-point Super Raid. That helped Thalaivas clinch an ALL OUT and open an 8-point lead. Things got worse for the Titans who saw their captain Rohit Kumar limp out with a suspected knee injury. By the end of the first half, Thalaivas raced to a 12-point lead with the scores 22-10.
Sagar raced to a High 5 as Tamil Thalaivas slowed the pace of the match in the second half. They knew the pressure was on the Titans to chase and the Tamil raiders played for the Do-or-Die raids. Rohit Kumar continued to be on the mat despite visible discomfort to his knee. The pressure put by Tamil Thalaivas worked well for the team as it forced Titans to commit unnecessary mistakes. Sagar moved to 7 tackle points as the team from Chennai opened a 14-point gap with 10 minutes on the clock.
Thalaivas got their second ALL OUT with 5 minutes to increase the lead to 20 points. Ajinkya Pawar clinched his Super 10 and Sagar moved to 9 tackle points in the final minutes as the Tamil team went on to seal the victory in the Southern Derby.