Jaipur Pink Panthers held on to their slender first-half lead to see off a spirited Tamil Thalaivas fight back and register a 28-26 victory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday. This victory helped the visitors extend their lead at the top of the Season 7 standings to seven points.

Nilesh Salunke scored 7 raid points and was the most successful raider of the contest.

Jaipur Pink Panthers raced away to a 4-point lead early in the contest as their Corners – Sandeep Dhull and Amit Hooda – managed to strike early. But Tamil Thalaivas were equal to the task and managed to equalise at 6-6 through ‘Iceman’ Ajay Thakur and ‘Showman’ Rahul Chaudhari.

Jaipur Pink Panthers managed a Super Tackle on each of the Tamil Thalaivas’ star raiders in quick succession to stay ahead. Deepak Narwal then came off the bench and put in three back-to-back successful raids.

Thakur got a touch point on the dangerous Amit Hooda before half time as his team trailed Jaipur Pink Panthers 11-13 going into the break.

Jaipur Pink Panthers’ defenders outscored Tamil Thalaivas’ 11-6 in tackle points.

The second half saw Jaipur Pink Panthers extend their lead through Deepak Hooda’s two-point raid and Pavan TR’s Super Tackle on Thakur. However, the home team soon levelled the scores by tackling Nitin Rawal and following it up with a 2-point Chaudhari raid which inflicted the All-Out.

It stayed a close contest after that as Nilesh Salunke kept the scoreboard ticking for Jaipur Pink Panthers while Rahul Chaudhari kept scoring for Tamil Thalaivas. With four minutes left to play, the match was nicely poised for an exciting finish with Jaipur Pink Panthers having a 25-22 lead.

The difference was reduced to 2 points after Vineet Sharma’s successful touch on Deepak Hooda. But Sandeep Dhull sent Chaudhari to the bench with a brilliant Diving Ankle Hold to put his team back up by three. Ajith Kumar got a touch on Vishal seconds before the full-time whistle but Jaipur Pink Panthers only had to run down the clock in their final raid to secure a two-point victory.

Top Performers:

Tamil Thalaivas –

Best Raider – Rahul Chaudhari (6 Raid Points)

Best Defender – Vineet Sharma (3 Tackle Points)

Jaipur Pink Panthers –

Best Raider – Nilesh Salunke (7 Raid Points)

Best Defender – Vishal (4 Tackle Points)