Jaipur Pink Panthers won an intense battle against Gujarat Fortunegiants by a 22-19 scoreline at the EKA Arena by TransStadia in Ahmedabad on Friday to rise to the top of the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 7 standings. Pankaj scored an impressive High 5 for Gujarat Fortunegiants but was unable to stop his team from slumping to their sixth loss on the trot.
Gujarat Fortunegiants picked up the first two points of the contest by sending two key Jaipur Pink Panthers players – Nitin Rawal and Amit Hooda – to the bench. But Jaipur Pink Panthers captain Deepak Hooda sprang into action by tackling Gujarat Fortunegiants’ highest-scoring raider of the season, Rohit Gulia to level the score at 2-2.
Amit and Rawal then got their revenge, picking up a point on either side of the mat to give their team a two-point advantage. Sandeep Dhull extended their lead to three after tackling Sachin in a Do-or-Die raid.
However, Gujarat Fortunegiants fought back through Gulia in attack and Pankaj in defence to tie the match. Amit and Deepak though continued to get Jaipur Pink Panthers ahead with their experience. The first half was a low scoring affair but ended with Jaipur Pink Panthers having a narrow 10-9 lead.
The home side levelled the score in Jaipur Pink Panthers’ first raid of the second period by tackling Nilesh Salunke. However, they were unable to stop Deepak as he ensured Jaipur Pink Panthers did not surrender the advantage.
Pankaj remained firm in the Left Corner for Gujarat Fortunegiants and picked up a High 5 in the 7th minute of the second period before Sachin pulled off a two-point raid, escaping Deepak and Salunke’s tackle attempts to send both Jaipur Pink Panthers’ main raiders to the bench.
Dhull’s tackle on Sonu though brought Deepak back on the mat and he capitalised immediately by escaping Parvesh Bhainswal’s Block attempt to put his team on top. More G B’s two-point raid was then answered by Dhull’s tackle to send him off court in the next raid itself as Jaipur Pink Panthers maintained a one-point lead with less than two minutes to play.
The visitors brought all their experience into play from there as Deepak managed a bonus before being tackled. Their defence then executed successful tackles in three successive Gujarat Fortunegiants raids to deny the home team any chance of a comeback and clinch a hard-fought victory.
Gujarat Fortunegiants –
Best Raider – Sachin (3 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Pankaj (6 Tackle Points)
Jaipur Pink Panthers –
Best Raider – Deepak Hooda (5 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Vishal (3 Tackle Points)