With the last day of action in the Kolkata leg of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League, the passion of the home crowd was evident. With the stadium meeting its capacity, the first clash of the night between the Patna Pirates and the Jaipur Pink Panthers was a thrilling affair. Both teams were coming off the back of victories and were looking to stretch their winning run. Though Patna held a slight advantage as they entered this match, it was Jaipur who started better, tackling both the star raiders of the Patna team early on.
Last night's hero for Patna, Ravi Dallal was the first to be sent back, and Rakesh Kumar was followed him soon. On the break of the 3rd minute Patna earned their first point bringing back Ravi Dallal, but he was unsuccessful. Jaipur looked hell bent on wreaking havoc on the Patna team, and by the first minute they had successfully tagged out the entire Patna battalion and scored their first set of LONA points. Patna responded immediately by taking of Shekhar to bring on South Korean skipper Tae Dok Eom.
By the 11th minute Jaipur had racked up four times as many points as the Pirates, and while Ravi Dallal did not enjoy the same kind of success as yesterday early on in the game, it was Captain Rakesh Kumar who quietly helped Patna score some key points. However, it was not all roses for the Pink Panthers as Gokul Shitole limped off the field in the 16th minute and was replaced by Mallesh. By the end of the half the Panthers were firmly ahead, leading the Pirates 22-6. They had a higher percentage of successful raids, a significant number of more tackles and had scored four bonus points to the Pirates' one.
The Pirates needed their team to come together if they stood any chance of coming back. The inspirational Rakesh Kumar didn't seem to look at his best, often being sent back to the out box, surprisingly it was not as much his raiding that was letting him down as it was his defending. As is true with all key figures in a team, their lack of performance often dragged down the team's morale.
The Pirates who had so far only sent in Rakesh Kumar and Ravi Dallal now found themselves also sending in Sandeep, who like the ones before him left a lot to be desired. The Panthers were relentless in their assault, and by the 26th minute they had put up their second set of LONA points on the night. Patna looked all at sea, 3 minutes later they took off Tae Dok Eom who had only come on in the first half and replaced him with Sudeep- A move that was clearly meant to bring greater stability to a waning Patna defence. However Sudeep was looking even weaker than the Tae, allowing the opposition raiders to slip through his hands time and again. Pirates who let the match slip from their grasp, also gave away that prized 4th spot.
The humiliation was complete with the Panthers making a clean sweep of the awards, Rohit Rana was adjudged best defender and Maninder Singh was declared the best raider on the night. With their heads all bowed, the Pirates returned to their locker to reflect on an absolute shocking performance. The final scoreboard read 18 - 40 in favour of the Jaipur Pink Panthers.