Patna, August 10: Pink Panthers of Jaipur beat Bengal Warriors of Kolkata 39-23 in the inaugural Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League here today. Both the Panthers and the Warriors were in fine form tonight. Jaipur’s Jasvir Singh was an unstoppable force, a perfect match for the immovable Bengal Nilesh Shinde. As the two players battled it out for superiority, Nitin Madane showcased his speed and agility, exploiting every mistake the Jaipur defense made.
Unfortunately for Kolkata, the match’s progression saw an increasingly cohesive Jaipur team make less and less mistakes, cementing the win for the Pink Panthers. The start of the game saw the rest of their respective teams carry out a fight of equal proportion, with the Bengal Warriors slowly gaining the upper hand with a clearly superior defense. Down to three players by the eighth minute, a closely united Panther defense was able to fend off the Kolkata raids, and increase their size to five persons by the 10th minute.
Part of this drama was captain Navneet Gautam, defending against a potential all out raid from the lethal Nitin Madane, injuring his knee in a dodge but yet still able to do a crucial roll in preventing Nitin from reaching the center line, a heroic action that saved his two other players from elimination. After bringing back their team to five players, the Pink Panthers once again displayed an uncanny skill for comebacks, quickly turning the tables and bringing the Bengal Warriors down to just one player in about five minutes.
Jasvir Singh gave the comeback its culminating blow, taking out the last Bengal Warrior and giving the Jaipur Pink Panthers a 18-9 lead. With their team once again all in, Nitin rushed to close the gap, immediately scoring two points. But even with Nitin’s lightning fast raids, the Panthers were able to maintain their nine point lead for the majority of the second half, with Maninder Singh demolishing the Warriors in a three touch raid on the 27th minute. Another all out rocketed them ahead to a 15-point lead, placing the Panthers on track for another landslide victory. With Nitin and Jasvir trading raids, the points continued to rise, with Kolkata unable to close the gap.