Season 1 champions Jaipur Pink Panthers’ playoffs hopes finally came to an end after a 37-27 defeat to second-ranked team from Zone A Haryana Steelers at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Wednesday. Captain Surender Nada and raider Deepak Kumar Dahiya both finished with 8 points from the match for Haryana while Tushar Patil was the pick of the players from Jaipur scoring 7 raid points.
Defender Somvir Shekhar was out to prove a point for Jaipur Pink Panthers as he started aggressively, first taking out Deepak Kumar Dahiya and then the seasoned Wazir Singh to give his team a 3-1 lead early in the game. But Prashanth Kumar Rai quickly put the pressure back on Jaipur and when he got some support from the tacklers Haryana were able to equalise at 5-5 around half way through the first half. Jaipur slowly pulled things back from there but a super raid by Dahiya gave Haryana the advantage once again at 10-9.
Haryana soon consolidated their advantage by inflicting an All-Out on the Pink Panthers and taking the lead up to 4 points. The half time score read 16-12 in Haryana’s favour.
Wazir started the second half off in style for Haryana with a 2-point raid to increase their lead to 7 points. However, Jaipur soon unleashed their most effective all-rounder Nitin Rawal and he justified their faith by returning quick points in attack. The Surender Nada-Mohit Chhillar combination, though, proved too good for him eventually and Nada reached his High 5 by super tackling the youngster and taking his team 25-21 clear.
It looked all over for Jaipur after Haryana inflicted another All-Out on them through Wazir and got a solid 33-21 advantage with 5 minutes on the clock. The Haryana tacklers did what they are best known for from there and kept the Jaipur raiders down to ensure an easy 37-27 victory for their side.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.