A hot evening in Patna turned cold for the Pink Panthers from Jaipur as their winning streak was snapped by Dabang Delhi, with the latter recording a 35-24 win. It was a face-off worth watching with the young gun Naveen from Delhi locking horns with the top-class all-rounder from Jaipur, Deepak Hooda.
Both teams started in an impressive manner, given that the clash was a fast-paced affair since the very inception. Even though the match was going nip and tuck, it seemed that only the raiders were doing all the hard work for the Pink Panthers. At the same time, both the offense and defense were striving hard from the Dabangs' squad.
The downfall for the Panthers was initiated by Delhi when they inflicted an all-out on them in the 18th minute of the encounter. For some strange reason, Sandeep Dhull and Amit Hooda remained weak throughout the match, with the latter having just two points up his alley, whereas Sandeep had zero.
Hooda became the only player to score a super-ten. Deepak Narwal, who gave a brilliant performance in his last match, had a sour day with just five points in his baggage. Dabang Delhi moved ahead with 16-10 as the first half came to an end.
The other half had Delhi leading throughout the battle. Chandran Ranjit, who made a smashing debut back in the fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League from the Gujarat Fortune Giants, became the highlight of the encounter after executing a brilliant six-point raid. He stepped in the opponent's court and sent all four defenders off the mat with finesse, inflicting a second all-out on the Pink Panthers.
Both Naveen and Chandran Ranjit completed their respective super-tens in the match. The face-off was expected to be a neck-to-neck affair, but Delhi's top-class game ensured the one-sidedness of the encounter. When asked about Chandran's six-pointer, Delhi's captain Joginder Narwal looked euphoric.
"I very well agree that Ranjit's six-pointer changed the game. It all started as a close affair but both Naveen's and Chandran's super raids helped us clinch the victory. It's not every day that you get to see a player executing a six-pointer raid," he said.
When quizzed about Ravinder Pahal's performance in both the halves of the encounter, Joginder had a glimmer in his eyes as he replied, "I have witnessed Ravinder in all our past matches. It's just that sometimes us, sportsmen run out of luck, and that's what happened with him.
"However, we all had immense faith in him. He assured us about his performance in today's encounter and as you already saw, Pahal kept his word and gave us his 100% tonight. His contribution was enormous in helping our team win."
Narwal was on seventh heaven and did not get tired of praising his team. "I am thrilled with the performance of my boys. These two tigers (Naveen and Chandran) and my full team are like my own children and will make me proud in the long run."
Delhi will face Anup Kumar's Puneri Paltan in their next encounter at Ahmedabad and will look for another victory to stay safe on the top of the points table.Published 06 Aug 2019, 22:44 IST