Mohammad Nabibakhsh’s magnificent work on both sides of the mat in the final five minutes helped the Bengal Warriors beat the Jaipur Pink Panthers 31-28 on Monday. Maninder Singh continued his stellar start to the campaign and finished the game with 13 points. Pink Panthers’ Arjun Deshwal recorded his fifth straight Super 10 and was his team’s leading scorer with 16 points.
The Pink Panthers raced to a 3-1 lead but were quickly pegged on the backfoot by a combination of Maninder and the Warriors’ defence, who helped their side build a two-point lead. A two-point raid from Nabibakhsh left the Pink Panthers with just a solitary man on the mat, and the Warriors’ defence made no mistake in pinning him down in the subsequent raid to inflict the game’s first All Out.
A Super Raid from Maninder extended the Warriors’ lead to eight, but three unanswered points from Deshwal helped the Pink Panthers cut the deficit to five. The Pink Panthers’ star raider continued his excellent work on the night and picked up another couple of points in the final few minutes of the first half to help his side go into the halftime break trailing by just four.
Maninder and the Warriors’ defence combined to reduce the Pink Panthers to three defenders seven minutes into the second half, as they inched closer to inflicting another All Out. With their team’s back against the walls, the Pink Panthers’ defence stepped up and Super Tackled Maninder to cut the deficit to four.
Deshwal then turned the tide of the contest with three quick raid points that helped his team cut the deficit to a solitary point. Nabibakhsh’s two-point raid gave the Warriors some momentary respite, but Deshwal added two more points to his team’s score to leave Bengal with just three players on the mat.
Nabibakhsh came through yet again, picking up a bonus and a touch point to put his team up by three, but Deshwal was relentless and picked up two points in the same raid to leave the Warriors with just two men on the mat.
The Pink Panthers’ raider went in for the final raid of the game, hoping to bring parity to the scoreline, but Nabibakhsh’s stellar Ankle Hold coupled with an assured assist from Maninder won the game for the Warriors.
Best Raider – Maninder Singh (12 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Mohammad Nabibakhsh (3 Tackle Points)
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Best Raider – Arjun Deshwal (16 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Naveen (2 Tackle Points)