Pardeep Narwal’s excellent 14 raid point-performance, supported by Neeraj Kumar’s High 5 and Jang Kun Lee’s intelligent raiding in the dying minutes, gave Patna Pirates a 36-33 victory over Jaipur Pink Panthers at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Thursday. Sushil Gulia came off the bench to score 8 points in 8 raids for Jaipur Pink Panthers and Sandeep Dhull managed another High 5, but the team was unable to overcome the three-time champions in the closing minutes of the game.
The raiders from both sides got early success before Patna Pirates’ defence struck by sending Deepak Hooda to the bench through Neeraj Kumar. Another tackle on Nitin Rawal then gave Patna Pirates more momentum before Pardeep Narwal’s Super Raid put them firmly in the driver’s seat.
Pardeep then put in three more successful raids to bring Jaipur Pink Panthers on the verge of an All-Out, before a Super Tackle on the ‘Record-Breaker’ by Sandeep Dhull turned things around for his side. Ajinkya Pawar then put in two successful Do-or-Die raids, split by Amit Hooda’s tackle on Jang Kun Lee, to reduce Patna Pirates down to three men on the mat.
Jaideep came to Patna Pirates’ rescue just at the right time to Super Tackle Pawar before Pardeep got a touch point on Rawal to reduce the score difference to one as Jaipur Pink Panthers led 15-14 at halftime.
Amit Hooda’s Super Tackle on Pardeep in his first raid of the second period and Dhull’s Super Tackle on Monu soon after extended Jaipur Pink Panthers’ lead. But Lee’s two-point raid followed by Pardeep’s touches on Deepak and Nilesh Salunke in successive raids then reduced Jaipur Pink Panthers down to a solitary man, which soon translated to an All-Out to bring the score difference back to one point at 23-24 with 12 minutes left to play.
Pardeep reached his Super 10 after the reset with a two-point raid to put Patna Pirates in the lead. But Dhull’s tackle on Pardeep in his next raid put Jaipur Pink Panthers back in the lead along with bringing up the defender’s High 5.
Patna Pirates went back in the lead through Lee, but Sushil Gulia’s Super Raid brought back parity at 29-29 with just four minutes remaining on the clock. The teams kept trading blows from this point as Pardeep and Lee for Patna Pirates, and Deepak and Sushil for Jaipur Pink Panthers, kept the scoreboard ticking. But Neeraj Kumar’s successful tackles on Deepak and Sushil in quick time gave Patna Pirates a slender lead going into the final seconds.
With a minute left to play, Lee ran down the clock brilliantly while Patna Pirates’ defence allowed Sushil just one point in the penultimate raid to help their team emerge successful by three points.
Jaipur Pink Panthers –
Best Raider – Sushil Gulia (8 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sandeep Dhull (5 Tackle Points)
Patna Pirates –
Best Raider – Pardeep Narwal (14 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Neeraj Kumar (6 Tackle Points)