Jaipur Pink Panthers 30-21 Bengaluru Bulls; Season 1 winners start home leg with a win
Rajesh Narwal put up an all-round effort by scoring 7 points while Jasvir Singh scored 5 points in a single raid to ensure Jaipur Pink Panthers began the home leg with a 30-21 win over Bengaluru Bulls. Pawan Kumar, 6 points, and Somvir Shekhar, 4 points, were the only players who could cause some damage in an otherwise disappointing outing for the Bulls.
Sonu Narwal opened the proceedings with a successful raid while Surjeet Narwal was unable to return to his half as the Pink Panthers made it 2-0 inside the opening minute. The visitors came roaring back by levelling in the 4th minute when Pawan Kumar won a point in his attack.
Till the 10th minute, both the teams exchanged blows and the scorecard read Jaipur Pink Panthers 5-5 Bengaluru Bulls. Vinoth Kumar got the crowd on its feet with a brilliant raid that saw the Bulls earn 2 points to overturn a 5-6 deficit and put his team in the lead. Sonu was tackled in the resultant raid as the home team trailed by 3 points with 4 minutes to go in the first half.
Rajesh Narwal’s stellar defending and Ran Singh’s raid ensured the home team went into the half leading 10-9. Four straight points in the final stages would have hurt the Bulls, but coach Randhir Singh would still be proud of his young team as they went toe to toe with the experienced Jaipur side.
HT: Jaipur Pink Panthers 10-9 Bengaluru Bulls
The second half began with the Bulls reduced to just 3 men as the home team made it 11-9 in their favour. However, parity was restored when substitute Mohammad Maghsoudlou was caught in a super tackle in the resulting raid. Kuldeep Singh and Ran Singh got the visitors on the verge of an all out, which was inflicted in the 26th minute when Preetam Chhillar was tackled by the Jaipur defence as they took a 5-point lead (17-12).
The next five minutes saw both the teams swapping points as we entered the business end of the match with the home team leading 19-13. But, that was just the lull before the storm. Bengaluru Bulls’ dared to make a comeback when Pawan Kumar got Jaipur Pink Panthers on the verge of an all out with 2 points in his raid.
But, cometh the hour, cometh the man and Jasvir Singh was the man for Jaipur as he conjured up, possibly, the raid of the tournament with FIVE points in a single raid to reverse the momentum. A second all out was inflicted on the Bulls a minute later and the Pink Panthers established a 10-point lead (29-19) with 4 minutes to go in the half.
In the final few minutes, the Bulls tried hard to reduce the deficit, but the home team stood firm and closed out the match with the scorecard reading 30-21 in their favour. This was the Bulls’ 6th straight loss and Jaipur Pink Panthers’ second consecutive win as they moved to the top 4 in the table.
FT: Jaipur Pink Panthers 30-21 Bengaluru Bulls