A spirited comeback from U.P. Yoddha fell short as Jaipur Pink Panthers secured a 32-29 win to climb to third on the vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 8 points table. Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Hooda combined for 20 raid points, which proved to be the difference on the night.
Both teams' raiding units found their footing early in the match and scored the game's first eight points. The Pink Panthers' defence managed to pin Pardeep Narwal down for the first tackle point of the night to give their team a three-point lead.
U.P. Yoddha briefly cut the deficit to one point, but Deshwal and Deepak Hooda picked up points in a flurry to leave the Yoddha down just one man on the mat. The Pink Panthers' defence made no mistake tackling him and inflicted the game's first All Out to take a 15-8 lead.
U.P. Yoddha responded strongly and cut down the lead to four, courtesy of a Super Raid from Surender Gill. But Hooda responded with a Super Raid of his own to ensure his team went into the halftime break leading 19-12.
Trailing by seven, U.P. Yoddha took the onus of being the aggressors but struggled to cut into the Pink Panthers' lead. Their defence was finally able to stop leaking points and also added points to their team's total, but Jaipur continued to match them point-for-point with timely contributions from their defence and Deshwal to ensure they maintained their seven-point lead.
Substitute Rohit Tomar, who came on at halftime, changed the game in the final five minutes. He picked up a quick raid point, then contributed a tackle point defence to cut the Pink Panthers' lead to five. An error from Deshwal and two more raid points from Tomar saw the Pink Panthers' lead cut down to two with just over 10 seconds left in the game.
Tomar's sixth raid point of the night cut U.P. Yoddha's deficit to one. The raider left just enough time for one more Do-or-die raid that skipper Hooda took responsibility for. The wily veteran lured the defence in and picked up two points to win the game for his team.
Jaipur Pink Panthers
Best Raider – Arjun Deshwal (11 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Nitin Rawal (4 Tackle Points)
Best Raider – Surender Gill (10 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Nitesh Kumar (2 Tackle Points)