An outstanding effort by the defence and a touch of class in the raiding department from Deepak Niwas Hooda handed Jaipur Pink Panthers a 37-24 victory over Tamil Thalaivas at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
Raiders from both teams were off to a bright start as Jasvir Singh and Ajay Thakur picked up a raid point each for Tamil Thalaivas while Jaipur Pink Panthers’ Anand Patil and Deepak Hooda scored a raid point each as well to keep parity in the match. Soon after, the defence for both teams sprung into action as Sunil, followed by Sandeep Dhull, scored a tackle point each for their respective teams to keep the scores level in the early exchanges. Both teams matched each other point-for-point for close to three-quarters of the first half with neither enjoying a lead of more than a solitary point.
The turning point of the half came in the 15th minute when Anand Patil managed to escape with two touch points in a Do-Or-Die raid to give his side the largest lead of the night up to that point. Sunil Siddhgavali’s tackle on Manjeet Chhillar reduced Tamil Thalaivas down to just three men as the momentum tilted in Jaipur Pink Panthers’ favour.
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With the Super Tackle on, Jasvir Singh attempted a Thigh Hold on Hooda but the raider successfully managed to evade Singh’s clutches and tagged the other two defenders on his way to the midline to score the game’s first Super Raid and also inflict an All-Out on Tamil Thalaivas. Hegde managed to score two raid points in two attempts to close out the half as the teams went into the break with Jaipur Pink Panthers leading 17-10.
Jaipur Pink Panthers continued their strong spell in the second half, scoring two straight points courtesy of a tackle from Santhapanaselvam and a touch point from Ajinkya Pawar. Hegde managed a two-point raid to cut down the deficit back to seven but Dhull and Siddhgavali added two more tackle points to keep the scoreboard ticking for their team.
In the 31st minute, Santhapanaselvam scored two back-to-back tackle points on Thakur and Athul MS and Hooda added two more touch points to his tally in a single raid to reduce Tamil Thalaivas down to just two men. Pawar sent Amit Hooda to the bench and Jasvir Singh was Dashed out of bounds in his subsequent raid attempt as Jaipur Pink Panthers inflicted a second All-Out to take a 12-point lead in the contest.
Despite their healthy advantage, Jaipur Pink Panthers continued their scoring spree as Anand Patil added two more raid points to his tally and Siddhgavali completed a High 5 with a tackle on Thakur. Tamil Thalaivas brought in Victor Obiero and the raider made an instant impact scoring five raid points in just four raid attempts to give Tamil Thalaivas a chance to pinch a point from this match.
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With just two men left on the mat, Obiero came in to raid yet again but fell short in his attempt to tag both defenders giving Jaipur Pink Panthers a Super Tackle and ending Tamil Thalaivas’ hopes of scoring a point.
Top performers -
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Best Raider: Deepak Niwas Hooda (8 Raid Points)
Best Defender: Sunil Siddhgavali (5 Tackle Points)
Best Raider: Sukesh Hegde (6 Raid Points)
Best Defender: Amit Hooda (3 Tackle Points)