Jaipur, Jan 12 (IANS) Jaipur Pink Panthers began their home leg in style with a tightly-contested 38-35 win against Telugu Titans in the Pro Kabaddi League match at the SMS Indoor Stadium on Friday.
Arjun Deshwal grabbed his 4th Super 10 in as many games as he finished with 14 raid points, while Telugu Titans captain Pawan Sehrawat bagged 12 points.
Arjun, this season’s top raider, needed no time to settle in as he struck from his very first raid. He was ably supported by Ankush and Reza Mirbagheri in defence as the home team raced to a 9-5 lead. A moment of brilliance from Arjun, where he got past the duo of Hamid Nader and Nitin – inflicted the first ALL OUT on Telugu Titans and they trailed 6-14 in the 13th minute.
Jaipur Pink Panthers needed just 5 minutes to inflict a second ALL OUT. That phase of play belonged completely to Arjun as he completed his Super 10, while Ankush produced a ferocious dash to push Pawan Sehrawat off the mat. Pawan was kept off the mat for over 7 minutes as Jaipur Pink Panthers led 27-8 at the interval.
Telugu Titans showed a lot more character in the second half as the defence stepped up. Led by Sandeep Dhull, they produced a series of sharp tackles to reduce the number of pink jerseys on the mat and Pawan completed the clean-up act to grab the ALL OUT. With 10 minutes to go, the scoreline read 33-21.
Pawan switched gears thereon as he picked up points off successive raids before stopping V Ajith with a superb back hold. Jaipur Pink Panthers were down to 2 men at this point and in a spot of bother. Lucky Sharma stepped out of bounds and then Bhavani Rajput was flattened on the mat as Telugu Titans inflicted another ALL OUT. It marked a sensational comeback from them, as they fought their way back from a 19-point deficit to now trail by just 5. Jaipur Pink Panthers held on to a narrow lead at 36-31 with 4 minutes to go.
Their lead was reduced to a mere 3 points, but Jaipur Pink Panthers determinedly held on to ensure they began their home leg on a victorious note and extended their unbeaten run to 7 games.