Defending champions Jaipur Pink Panthers rode on Arjun Deshwal’s raiding brilliance as they beat Haryana Steelers 45-34 in the Pro Kabaddi League Season 10 match at the Noida Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday.
Arjun (14 raid points), Reza Mirbagheri (7 tackle points) and Ankush (5 tackle points) were the top performers for Jaipur Pink Panthers, while Chandran Ranjit (11 raid points) and Mohit Nandal (5 tackle points) were Haryana Steelers’ best players on the night.
There was a surprise in both teams’ starting 7 as Haryana Steelers raider Chandran got his first game of the season, while Rahul Chaudhari was named in the Jaipur Pink Panthers squad.
The two veteran raiders began the proceedings for their teams and Chandran was off to a good start as he struck in each of his initial raids. It was only a matter of time before Arjun Deshwal joined the party, and when he did, he quickly swung the momentum in Jaipur Pink Panthers’ favour.
Arjun played an instrumental role in the first All out as he escaped Mohit’s ankle hold and then landed a back-kick on Mohit Nandal and then Rahul tagged Rahul Sethpal soon after to put his side ahead 17-13 with a little over 4 minutes to go. He then completed his Super 10 within the 1st half as his men went into the break with a healthy lead.
Haryana Steelers got off to a superb start in the 2nd half and some solid work from Mohit and Chandran got the side within the cusp of an All out, but Super tackles from Lucky Sharma and Reza helped the Jaipur Pink Panthers stay afloat.
However, Chandran produced a multi-point raid in the 29th minute to finally grab the All out. The Haryana Steelers trailed only by 1 point at 28-29 at this point and were within touching distance of a comeback, but Arjun dashed their hopes.
Arjun, who was the most successful raider last season, got Mohit and Rahul first and then came back to oust Jaideep Dahiya and Vinay to lead his side to another All out.
Jaipur Pink Panthers led by 9 points with 4 minutes to go and had the game in the bag. The match ended with Bhavani Rajput escaping Jaideep’s grasp as the Jaipur Pink Panthers notched up their 4th win in 5 games.