Vishakhapatnam: Patna Pirates stunned former champions Jaipur Pink Panthers 29-28 with a decisive last raid in their very first appearance in the Season 3 of the Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League at the Rajeev Gandhi Indoor Stadium today. It was debutant Sunil’s day as he blocked Jaipur’s best player of the day, Jasvir who with his marathon raids had garnered a whopping 11 points. This block was worth a million for the Pirates who are hoping to improve on their fourth place finish last season. At the halfway stage the winners had a 14-12 advantage after being in arrears early on at 8-5.
In the overall context it was a fine outing for the winners. Though their new captain, Manpreet Singh, a former Asian Games gold medalist failed to make an impact, the other three acquisitions, Rohit Kumar, Sunil Jaglan and Pradeep Narwal displayed good form to help their team win.
The winners were slow off the blocks. Jaipur on the other hand lost Sonu Narwal early and the whole burden of the attack was shouldered by Jasvir after his flop show against Mumbai for most part of the match. Today he improved his performance which kept his team in the fray only to falter in the end. He scored as many as eight points in the first session but was super-tackled once.
There were as many as five super tackles in the match and two super raids and both were scripted by Pradeep Narwal in the second half to tilt the tables in favour of the Pirates. Pradeep’s second super raid hastened the Jaipur all-out in the 25th minute of play sending the winners up at 20-16.
Pirates should consider themselves lucky. They survived despite some irresponsible acts committed by Rohit and Manpreet who failed to realize that there were in the opponent territory for do-or-die raids.
Pradeep was guilty of conceding two points for losing his cant. This blunder would have cost his team the match. His act cost his team two points as there were only three defenders in the rival court and that was equivalent to a super tackle. The Panthers came close to 26-28 due to that. They have to guard against this as they lost four points in the bargain.
In the ultimate analysis the Patna defence was the deciding factor. Add to that the inability of the Jaipur attack barring Jasvir and to some extent Rajesh Narwal’s heroics in the end to complete the picture.