PKL 8: Jaipur defeat Patna, Tamil thrash Bengaluru in Southern Derby
Pink Panthers’ star raider Arjun Deshwal scored 17 points.
Arjun Deshwal was the star for Jaipur Pink Panthers as they thrashed Patna Pirates 51-30 in Match 82 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8. Patna went into the match as favourites, but the Panthers showed why the sport of kabaddi is a great leveller with a commanding win.
Their star raider Arjun Deshwal scored 17 points and was ably backed up by Deepak Hooda with 8 points. Defenders Sandeep Dhull and Vishal also picked up High 5s in a bullish win that exposed the chinks in Patna’s armour. The three-time champions had a terrible day in defence. Their cover defenders Sajin C and Neeraj Kumar picked up no points in the entire PKL match.
Jaipur dominated the first half despite going into the PKL season 8 match as the underdogs. They dominated the proceedings right from the whistle with aggressive defending and clever raiding. Deepak Hooda’s return to the raiding department gave Arjun Deshwal more confidence and he picked up easy points from the Patna defence in the early minutes. Jaipur’s defenders Vishal and Sandeep Dhull were also in the mood to not let the Pirates grow confident. It was like Panthers’ coach Sanjeev Balyan had decoded the Patna weakness – the same defence which claimed three High 5s in the previous match could not pull off even one successful tackle against Jaipur in the first half.
The men in pink got their first ALL OUT in the 8th minute to open a healthy 9-point lead. Arjun Deshwal enticed errors from the Patna defenders and raced to his Super 10. Substitute Guman Singh fought valiantly for Patna but his raids could not prevent another ALL OUT with 3 minutes remaining. The first half ended 25-11 with Jaipur completely in control.
Jaipur continued their domination of the mat after the interval. Arjun Deshwal picked up easy points off a confused Patna defence. His 2-point raid in the 7th minute after the break gave the Panthers another ALL OUT to increase the lead to 19-points. The Jaipur defence was having a night to remember as well with Sandeep Dhull hitting his High 5. Sachin and Guman Singh kept trying their best to bring Patna back into the match. Their defenders continued to leak easy points.
The Panthers had a 20-point lead with 5 minutes remaining. Even Guman Singh’s Super 10 wasn’t enough to save Patna. Vishal also picked up a High 5. The Jaipur defenders ensured there are no slip-ups to win the PKL match.
Ajinkya Pawar scored a Super 10 for Thalaivas
Tamil Thalaivas thrashed Bengaluru Bulls 42-24 in a one-sided Match 83 of PKL. The second match of PKL Season 8’s Rivalry Week (January 30 to February 6) turned out to be a mauling as Tamil Thalaivas dominated the mat to win the prestigious Southern Derby.
Ajinkya Pawar scored a Super 10 for the Tamil team and was supported well by his raiding partner Manjeet with 8 points. Their defenders had a great night too with Sagar picking up a High 5 to ensure Bulls’ captain Pawan Sehrawat ended the match without a Super 10.
Bengaluru went into the Southern Derby with a 7-0 win/loss ratio and controlled the early minutes, but Thalaivas gradually found their foothold to draw level. The scores were 6-6 after 10 minutes but the Tamil team switched gears to pull away from the Bulls. Ajinkya Pawar’s speedy raids found the Bull’s defence struggling while their own raiders struggled against a resolute Thalaivas defence.
The team from Chennai inflicted their first ALL OUT in the 13th minute to open a 5-point lead. At the interval, the scores were 21-8 with Thalaivas having the momentum.
Tamil Thalaivas continued to control the match after the interval with their defenders leaving no room for the Bulls raiders. M Abhishek in the cover position won his personal battles against Pawan Sehrawat and Bengaluru could not find the backup raiders to revive their captain quickly. Thalaivas got their third ALL OUT with 9 minutes remaining to get a 20-point lead.
Coach Uday Kumar wanted his raiders to slow the speed of the match by taking it to the third raid and Ajinkya Pawar ensured his team succeeded in the Do-or-Die situations. The raider also picked his Super 10 in the final minute. Sagar picked his High 5 as the defenders ensured the Thalaivas clinched an important derby victory.