A 15-point outing from Bharat and a Super 10 from Pawan Sehrawat guided Bengaluru Bulls to a crucial 45-37 win over the Jaipur Pink Panthers. With this win, the Bulls opened up a seven-point gap between themselves and U Mumba, who are currently seventh on the points table.
The Pink Panthers were in the ascendancy early and raced to a 5-2 lead, courtesy of two touch points from Deshwal, a couple of points from their defence and a self out from the Bulls. Two more touch points from Deshwal and a sensational tackle from Vishal on Bharat reduced Bengaluru to just two men on the mat.
But the two held the fort and Super Tackled Deshwal, before Sehrawat picked up two touch points in the same raid to bring parity to the scoreline. The Pink Panthers responded to the Bulls’ charge with a 4-2 run, with Sahul Kumar, Deshwal, Deepak Hooda and Brijendra picking up a point each to leave Bengaluru with only Saurabh Nandal on the mat.
The defender made no effort to tackle Hooda and gave up a touch point, which inflicted the game’s first All Out on Bengaluru and saw Jaipur take a 14-9 lead.
The Bulls responded strongly to the setback, as Bharat helped add four points to his team’s total in just three raid attempts to cut the deficit to two points. Another touch point for the Bulls left the Pink Panthers with only Nitin Rawal on the mat and the all-rounder was awarded nothing more than a bonus before being pinned down, as Bengaluru inflicted an All Out and drew level on the scoreboard.
Sehrawat and Bharat combined to help the Bulls finish the half with a 3-1 run to go into halftime leading 22-19.
Three touch points from the Bengaluru skipper in his first two raid attempts left Jaipur with only Rawal on the mat. The all-rounder picked up a bonus before being left immobile by Nandal’s Ankle Hold, which inflicted another All Out on Jaipur and gave Bengaluru a seven-point lead.
Deshwal added to the Pink Panthers’ total and tried to help them mount a comeback. But Bharat and Sehrawat combined to match the Jaipur star point-for-point to ensure Bengaluru maintain their seven-point lead.
Deshwal then sent Sehrawat to the bench with a touch point on the skipper, before adding another to his tally, to help Jaipur cut the deficit to five. Deepak Singh’s Dash on Bharat left the Bulls with just three players on the mat, but they combined to pin down Deshwal to push their team’s lead back up to six.
Mahender’s Block on Hooda added another point to the Bulls’ total, before substitute Dong Geon Lee escaped an Ankle Hold from Pavan TR to push Bengaluru’s lead up to eight. With victory out of sight, the Pink Panthers focused on getting the deficit to seven or under to rescue a point from the contest.
But in the game’s final raid, Sehrawat tagged Vishal before somersaulting past the midline to ensure Jaipur left the game empty-handed.
Best Raider – Bharat (15 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Jaideep (4 Tackle Points)
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Best Raider – Arjun Deshwal (16 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sahul Kumar (2 Tackle Points)