Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4: Puneri Paltan remain top after Jaipur leg; Patna Pirates continue winning streak
Home team Jaipur Pink Panthers made the most of its vociferous support as they propelled themselves to 2nd spot in the table after a home leg that saw them notch up 2 wins, and a draw in 4 matches. There was joy for Patna Pirates as well at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium as they continued their winning streak by handing U Mumba yet another defeat.
As the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi 2016 Season 4 caravan moved to the Pink City, Jaipur embraced it with open arms and gave all the teams a rousing welcome. The Pink Panthers returned the massive support it got by inflicting further misery on bottom placed Telugu Titans with a 28-24 win. In a rather low-scoring encounter, Rajesh Narwal stole the limelight with 8 points against the Jasmer Singh Gulia-led Titans. With 7 raid points in the match, he gave the defenders a torrid time and helped his team start the home leg with a win.
In a repeat of last season’s final, Patna Pirates and U Mumba locked horns in the second match of the opening day of the Jaipur leg and the former came out on top with a narrow 36-34 victory. U Mumba made a brilliant comeback to take the lead at 34-33 after trailing by 10 points in the 33rd minute, but there was heartbreak in store for them. 19-year-old Pardeep Narwal scored half of his team’s points to outshine Rishank Devadiga (11 points) and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a 2-point raid in the dying seconds of the match.
The excitement didn’t die down on the second day either as a resurgent Bengaluru Bulls continued their unbeaten run with a 28-28 draw against the home side. By the 27th minute, the Bulls had established a healthy 10-point lead and were cruising in the match, but the Pink Panthers had other ideas. In the final 13 minutes, they outscored the Bulls 16-5 and ensured the draw by tackling last season’s MVP Rohit Kumar in the buzzer raid.
The third day saw an extremely tight affair between U Mumba and Dabang Delhi with the former getting their second win of the season by ending on the right side of a 27-25 scoreline. Sachin Shingade battled hard for the Eagles with a high 5, but an 8-point haul for Rishank helped his team get over the line. The second match of the day saw the home team continue their sensational run as they brushed aside last season’s semi-finalists Bengal Warriors 36-33. Shabeer Bappu and Jasvir Singh got the bulk of the points with 10 and 13 points respectively as Monu Goyat’s and Nitin Madane’s 8 points each amounted to nothing.
The final day of the Jaipur leg began with a battle between last season’s whipping boys taking on each other as Bengaluru Bulls faced Dabang Delhi. The Eagles were at their best as they got their first win of the campaign through an inspiring defensive display. D Gopu (5 tackle points) and Sachin Shingade (7 tackle points) helped them notch up a 32-24 win against the Season 2 finalists despite the best efforts of Mohit Chhillar and Rohit Kumar.
Jaipur Pink Panthers’ fairy tale start to the home leg came to an abrupt end as league leaders Puneri Paltan silenced the home crowd with a 33-28 win. Manjeet Chhillar and Ravinder Pahal held the fort defensively as the wily Deepak Niwas Hooda terrorised the Pink Panthers’ defenders through his raids.
The kabaddi attention now shifts to Hyderabad as Telugu Titans hope to push themselves up from the bottom of the table with 4 matches lined up in 4 days for them. Fourth-placed Patna Pirates will look to continue their winning run. The extremely competitive league has only 5 points separating U Mumba in 3rd spot to Bengal Warriors in 7th as we move now make our way down South to Hyderabad.