Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Sandeep Narwal accepts his massive last second error that led to Puneri Paltan loss
A Selvamani-less Jaipur Pink Panthers took to the mat against the Puneri Paltan in Thursday’s first Pro Kabaddi League encounter. The odds were stacked heavily against Manjeet and co. but Jaipur produced a stunning all round performance and registered a 30-28 win.
In what was a topsy turvy game, the Pink Panthers withstood a barrage of Pune's comebacks to secure a much-needed victory. In the final seconds of the match, Jaipur had just two men on the mat. Pune could have won the game had Sandeep Narwal taken out both the opposition defenders, thereby inflicting an all-out.
However, he could manage only one and accepted that he made a glaring error by not taking into account the time left on the clock. He assumed there would be time for a final do-or-die raid from the Jaipur.
"I made a mistake in the end, when I touched the first player, he was out. There was just one player left and I thought he could come in for a do or die raid against us. But I wasn't watching the time or else we could have led by one point. I made an error by not looking at the clock," Sandeep said.
Puneri Paltan captain, Deepak Hooda was quick in taking responsibility for the loss. Hooda wasn't in his element and managed to score just three points. Jaipur had the measure of him throughout the match and far too many times, the captain looked flustered with Jaipur's ultra aggressive approach.
"It wasn't a shock," Deepak opined about Jaipur beating them despite their star raider, Selvamani not playing. "All the 12 teams are good in this league. We made a lot of mistakes tonight and I accept the responsibility for this. Sandeep played well but I didn't. Rajesh Mondal wasn't the only one who didn't perform. I didn't perform too" he said.
Post this surprise loss, Pune will have to go back to the drawing board and revisit their strategy. Deepak and co. started off the tournament with two dominating wins however on Thursday, they received a reality check.
Credit must go to the Panthers who had a Herculean task on their hands. Captain Manjeet Chhillar led from the front scoring a massive 9 points. He marshaled his troops with military precision and never panicked when Pune began to mount a possible comeback. This win holds Jaipur in good stead for the next round.