Vishakhapatnam, January 30: A scintillating display of precision power play by the masked defender Rohit Rana helped former champions Jaipur Pink Panthers extract revenge over their traditional rivals and defending champions U Mumba by a comfortable margin at 27-18. There was much hype generated over this Season 3 Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League encounter but in the end Jaipur proved too good for their rivals. It was their first win over them after that win in the finals of Season 1. The panthers held a 10-9 advantage midway.
The other player who helped the winners was the lanky raider Sonu Narwal. He got four valuable points initially for his side with his kicks. He scalped rival skipper Anup Kumar twice, very early in the tie with this flawless technique. If Sonu was all art and finesse then Rohit’s showing was all power and precision.
To add to the problems posed by these two, Jasvir who had failed to open his account in the first half, he came into his own after the break. He warmed up with a single point and followed it up with a couple in the next do-or-die raid to put his side up at 20-15 in the 36th minute. His final big act of getting Surender Nada, Jeeva Kumar and Rakesh Kumar in another do-or-die raid finished the contest. Jasvir asked for a review which proved successful. The score stood at 24-17 then.
Mumba on the other hand found to their dismay that all their three raiders, captain Anup, Rakesh and Shabber Bapu were unsuccessful and contributed precious little. Their ploy of using Rishank Devadiga in place of Shabbeer didn’t work today. Rishank was overpowered on at least four occasions.
The Mumba defence did play a good role with Surender Nada and Mohit Chhillar contributing 4 points each. But indiscretion by the latter on a couple of occasions cost his team. Rana outshone both of them with 8 points. He aided his team mates in effecting two super tackles.
The win indicates a tough Season 3 for all as each and every team looks fit and well prepared.