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Kabaddi

PKL 2021: Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Haryana Steelers to register first win of the season

Jaipur Pink Panthers went past Haryana Steelers 40-38, thanks to Super 10s from Arjun Deshwal and Deepak Niwas Hooda.

PKL 2021: Jaipur Pink Panthers beat Haryana Steelers to register first win of the season
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Sahul Kumar was the best defender for the Jaipur Pink Panthers

By

Vaibhav Borse

Updated: 25 Dec 2021 5:46 PM GMT

Jaipur Pink Panthers knocked down the challenge of Haryana Steelers in a two-point victory. The inaugural champions registered their first win of the season eight with a scoreline of 40-38. The most expensive Pink Panther Arjun Deshwal starred in their first victorious fixture of the season.

As it happened........

Coach Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan made one change in the lineup by excluding the first choice left corner Sandeep Dhull from Starting 7. Sandeep was replaced by the veteran defender Dharmaraj Cheralathan who made his debut for Pink Panthers against his former side. Meanwhile, Haryana gaffer Rakesh Kumar opted for the same Starting 7 avoiding any changes to the lineup. Veteran covers Ravi Kumar and Rajesh Narwal once again found themselves on the bench as Steelers fielded young cover pair of Mohit Nandal and Jaideep Dahiya.

Haryana Steelers forced an early all-out on Jaipur Pink Panthers in just the sixth minute of the first half. Haryana adopted a dominating tendency from the beginning of the clash. Left cover Jaideep Dahiya completed his consecutive High 5 of the season in the first half itself. Arjun Deshwal's diligent first half Super 10 inspired Pink Panthers to make a solid comeback in the game. Haryana's lead was reduced to just one point at the first half whistle with a scoreline of 22-21.

The excessive scoring rate was continued in the second half too. But no one could establish themselves in a strong position. The deadlock was broken by the heroics of Arjun Deshwal and right corner Shaul Kumar. Jaipur clutched the game by forcing a vital all-out on Steelers and gaining a hefty lead. In the final minutes, Haryana tried hard to be back in the game but their attempt was denied by the course of time.

Takeaways from the clash

Haryana Steelers failed to control their nerves at crucial times. They let go of an important lead in early minutes which eventually cost them match points. Haryana Steelers' prominent players like Vikash Kandola, Surender Nada, Jaideep Dahiya and Rohit Gulia displayed great work. Although their strenuous efforts could not save the day for their franchise.

It was Arjun Deshwal's day after all as he displayed his career-best performance in the Pro Kabaddi League. The UP lad scored 17 raid points in 17 raids for Pink Panthers. Arjun also scored a tackle point from his single tackle attempt.

Debutant left corner defender Shaul Kumar was brought into the game midway replacing Amit Hooda on the mat. Shaul was the best defender of Jaipur Pink Panthers scoring four tackle points with a 50% strike rate. Deepak Niwas Hooda also played a key role in the comeback scoring a marvellous Super 10. His efforts decided the fortunes of Jaipur as the skipper also bagged the 'Gamechanger of the match' laurel.

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