Patna, February 16: Sonu Narwal the main raider of Jaipur Pink Panthers was on the prowl once again after a brief lull to lead his team to a convincing 35-26 win over Telugu Titans who have been hit by the bad form of Rahul Chaudhari whose return they were awaiting after the Indian team’s success at the South Asian Games.
Sonu Narwal had excellent support from the brave all-rounder Rajesh Narwal who stuck to his task despite getting injured, and returned after receiving six stitches. The winners also lost Samarjeet Singh with a twisted knee and they must be hoping that it is not as serious as the list of casualties is increasing day by day. Today’s victory is more creditable as it was achieved in the absence of Jasvir Singh and it would boost their morale.
The result didn’t make any difference in the standings for Telugu Titans as they remain fourth with 22 points but Jaipur Pink Panthers have displaced Puneri Paltan in fifth spot with 20 points.
The first half saw the winners leading 19-11 which was a fair indication of the story that would unfold. Sonu Narwal was unstoppable as he scored at will, six to be precise. Mohammad Maghsoudlou also chipped in with three as the winners scored an all-out in the ninth minute.
Telugu Titans had expected a lot from super star Rahul Chaudhari but he was totally out of place. Maybe a different environment with different teammates after a gap of four days might have affected him. It is a known fact that once Rahul gets trapped a couple of times he loses his composure and that is what happened today.
Sukesh Hegde also a member of the national side had limited success in the first half. He did have a tally of six points aided by a super tackle but that was in the latter session. He was trapped a number of times initially and the Iranian Meraj Sheykh too wasn’t effective at all.
A spate of injuries pushed the Jaipur Pink Panthers back marginally after they had maintained their momentum to remain ahead at 23-14 by the 26th minute. But with the Telugu Titans trying to make a match of it through an all-out in the 28th minute the margin was down to 18-23 and then 22-26 in the 32nd minute courtesy Sukesh Hegde and Meraj Sheykh. The losers scored 10 points in a span of 11 minutes.
Jaipur Pink Panthers pulled away then, through Rajesh Narwal who till that time had 11 empty raids out of 12 to show. He touched out Manoj Kumar and struck a flying kick on Vikas Kale to increase the lead. As this wasn’t enough the stocky Rajesh came up with two crucial tackles on Prashant Rai and Meraj Sheykh to apply the finishing touches. At 32-22 the game was sealed in the 37th minute.