PKL 8: Arjun Deshwal shines as Jaipur Pink Panthers hammer Patna Pirates

Arjun Deshwal was the star for Jaipur Pink Panthers as they thrashed Patna Pirates 51-30 in a Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 match at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Sunday.

The Pirates went into the match as favourites, but the Panthers showed why the sport of kabaddi is a great leveller with a commanding win.

Their star raider Arjun Deshwal scored 17 points and was ably backed by Deepak Hooda with eight points. Defenders Sandeep Dhull and Vishal also picked up High 5s in a bullish win that exposed the chinks in Patna’s armour. The three-time champions Pirates had a terrible day in defence with their cover defenders Sajin C and Neeraj Kumar picking up no points in the entire match.

Jaipur dominated the first half despite going into the match as the underdogs. They dominated the proceedings right from the whistle with aggressive defending and clever raiding.

Deepak Hooda’s return to the raiding department gave Arjun Deshwal more confidence and he picked up easy points from the Patna defence in the early minutes. Jaipur’s defenders Vishal and Sandeep Dhull were also in the mood to not let the Pirates grow confident.

It was like Panthers’ coach Sanjeev Balyan had decoded the Pirates’ weakness — the same defence which claimed three High 5s in the previous match could not pull off even one successful tackle against Jaipur in the first half.

The men in pink got their first all-out in the eighth minute to open a healthy 9-point lead. Arjun Deshwal enticed errors from the Pirates defenders and raced to his Super 10. Substitute Guman Singh fought valiantly for Patna but his raids could not prevent another all-out with three minutes remaining. The first half ended 25-11 with Jaipur completely in control.

Jaipur continued their domination of the mat after the interval with Arjun Deshwal picking up easy points off a confused Pirates defence. His two-point raid in the 7th minute after the break gave the Panthers another all-out to increase the lead to 19-points. The Jaipur defence was having a night to remember as well with Sandeep Dhull hitting his High 5.

Sachin and Guman Singh kept trying their best to bring the Pirates back into the match, but their defenders continued to leak easy points.

The Panthers had a 20-point lead with five minutes remaining an’ even Guman Singh’s Super 10 wasn’t enough to save Patna. Vishal also picked up a High 5 as the Jaipur defenders ensured there are no slip-ups to win the match.

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