PKL 8: Jaipur decimate Mumbai, Patna nudge past Bengaluru
Pink Panthers crush the Mumbai-based side convincingly.
Arjun Deshwal was the star for Jaipur Pink Panthers as they thrashed U Mumba 44-28 in match 119 of PKL 8. The young raider scored 17 points in a stellar display by the Season 1 champions against their playoff rivals. The victory helped Jaipur leapfrog Mumbai on the points table and become favourites for a playoff spot. Mumbai missed multiple opportunities to inflict an ALL OUT on Jaipur and that came back to haunt them in the second half. Their raider Ajith Kumar scored a Super 10 (11 points).
Mumbai started the match on the front foot with their raiders Abhishek Singh and Ajith Kumar looking in good form. Ajith clinched a 4-point Super Raid in the 4th minute to give his team an early advantage. But the other end, Arjun Deshwal picked points with ease. The former Mumbai raider found bonus points easily as Fazel Atrachali and his men took a cautious approach. The lack of tackles allowed Jaipur, who were playing without Deepak Hooda in the starting 7, to slowly take control of the match.
Their defenders, especially right-corner Brijendra Singh, also chipped in with tackle points to help clinch an ALL OUT with 4 minutes remaining. That gave the Pink Panthers a 6-point lead but Mumbai’s defence slowly found its rhythm. They tackled Nitin Rawal and Arjun Deshwal in consecutive moves to end on a positive note. The scores were 17-14 with Jaipur in the lead at halftime.
Mumbai dominated the early minutes of the second half with their defence now getting the better of Arjun Deshwal. A 2-point raid by Ajith Kumar gave them an opportunity to inflict an ALL OUT but Jaipur fought back through Brijendra Singh. He produced a stunning 3-point Super Raid to keep Jaipur in the ascendency.
Ajith Kumar again produced a 2-point raid but Brijendra followed it up with another good raid. A Super Tackle in the 10th minute of the half by Nitin Rawal helped Jaipur open a 4-point lead. Pavan TR produced another Super Tackle as Jaipur made a mini-revival and opened a healthy lead in this PKL match.
Arjun Deshwal’s 3-point Super Raid with 5 minutes remaining in the match gave Jaipur much-needed control. He clinched a Super 10 as Jaipur inflicted another ALL OUT with under 2 minutes remaining. That gave Jaipur a 9-point lead and took away Mumbai’s chances of levelling the scores. Arjun Deshwal’s 5-point Super Raid in the final minute meant the Jaipur extended their lead to 16-points. The big margin in victory will help Jaipur in their race to seal a playoff spot.
Pirates continue topping the table after narrow win against Bulls
Table-toppers Patna Pirates overcame a stiff challenge from Bengaluru Bulls to beat them 36-34 in match 120 of PKL 8. A collective performance from the entire team helped Patna make it 7 wins on the trot at the crucial stages of the tournament. The win also guaranteed them a first-place finish (league stages).
Mohammadreza Shadloui and Sunil scored 6 tackle points each for the Pirates. The Bulls have just 1 match remaining in the league and will now be dependent on other results to go their way to make it to the playoffs. They will however take some positives from secondary raider Chandran Ranjit’s performance against the Pirates (8 points).
The first 10 minutes of the match was an exhibition of Kabaddi skills as both teams opted for an aggressive approach. Bulls’ Pawan Sehrawat struggled to find his footing as the Pirates defenders pounced on him like hyenas on the prowl. At the other end, the Bulls were in no mood to let Patna run away with the match with a playoff spot at stake.
But Sachin’s clever raids gave Patna a man-advantage closer to the 10th minute. But Bengaluru’s Saurabh Nandal and Chandran Ranjit produced two stunning Super Tackles to keep Bengaluru in the fight around the 12th minute of the match. Pirates’ left-corner Mohammadreza Shadloui then joined the party with a few trade-mark bone-crunching tackles. Patna’s relentless pressure finally gave them an ALL OUT in the 16th minute. The first half of the PKL match ended 19-14 with the Pirates in the lead.
Shadloui picked his High 5 early in the second half with a tackle on Pawan Sehrawat as Patna continued to control the match. But the Bulls proved they were not just dependent on Pawan as Chandran Ranjit inspired a comeback. His raid points reduced Patna’s lead to just 2 points with 10 minutes on the clock.
Patna’s Sunil also picked his High 5 as their defenders led the fight against the Bulls. They continued to produce collective tackles to help Patna once again increase the lead to 5 points with 5 minutes to spare. But the momentum once again shifted hands as Pawan Sehrawat clinched a 3-point raid.
That helped the Bulls clinch an important ALL OUT to level the scores at 32-32 with 3 minutes remaining. But Patna showed why they are on top of the points table with two crucial moves in the last minute. Sachin got an important touch point on Jaideep and then in the next move the Pirates tackled Pawan Sehrawat before he could pick even a bonus point. That 2-point margin proved decisive as Patna went on to secure another win in this season’s PKL.