Jaipur Pink Panthers and Gujarat Fortunegiants played out a 28-28 tie in the former’s first home match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday. The hard-fought contest was headlined by both defences as 35 tackle points were scored on the night.
After an even first quarter where the defenders of both sides showed their might and the scores were tied at 6 apiece, Jaipur Pink Panthers’ skipper Deepak Hooda helped his team race ahead with a two-point raid. Corner Sandeep Dhull then added to his tally by tackling Sonu before Hooda inflicted the first All Out of the match in his next raid to give Jaipur Pink Panthers a 12-6 lead.
The Jaipur Pink Panthers defence stayed strong even after that and allowed only Sachin from Gujarat Fortunegiants any raid points while their skipper kept picking up points in attack. At the halftime whistle, the home team led 15-10 after having scored 8 tackle points in the half. Hooda was tackled only once in the entire half and had 4 touch points to his name.
Jaipur Pink Panthers started the second period with back-to-back Super tackles, first on Sachin and then Rohit Gulia. The second of those also gave Vishal his High 5. However, once Sachin was revived, he immediately sent Vishal to the bench and that ushered in an All Out on Jaipur Pink Panthers to help the visitors make it a two-point game.
The home team managed to hang on to their slender lead through the third quarter, but Gujarat Fortunegiants managed to equalise at 21-21 in the 10th minute through their skipper Sunil Kumar. Sachin then picked up a touch on Dhull and Parvesh Bhainswal sent substitute Ajinkya Pawar to the bench to reduce Jaipur Pink Panthers down to two men on the mat.
However, Vishal and Nitin Rawal managed to hold down Gulia after an intense struggle to pull off a Super Tackle before another Super Tackle initiated by Rawal helped his team equalise at 26-26. Bhainswal seemed to have put his team ahead by sending Hooda to the bench in the next raid. But a third Super Tackle in quick succession saw the home team seize the lead yet again.
With the last raid of the match remaining, Gujarat Fortunegiants played a high line of defence and tackled down Rawal as the clock ran out with the scores tied at 28-28.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Best Raider – Deepak Hooda (4 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Vishal (9 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Sachin (5 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Parvesh Bhainswal (5 Tackle Points)