Abishek Bachchan-owned Jaipur Pink Panthers win Pro Kabaddi title
Jaipur Pink Panthers pulled off a 35-24 victory over U Mumba to emerge champion of the inaugural STAR ProKabaddi League here on Sunday.
Maninder Singh’s early raid points proved useful as fellow catchers, inspired by captain Navneet Gautam, came into their own.
Maninder (seven raid points) and all-rounder Rajesh Narwal (fve raid points, two tackle points) were the most effective. Attacker Jasvir Singh displayed tactical ability by using up 30 seconds each time he leapt into action, won four raid points and did his bit to unsettle the rivals. Prashant Chavan chipped in with six tackle points.
U Mumba skipper Anup Kumar ended up on the losing side despite a match high 11 raid points. The Panthers defenders treated him with caution and respect as he stole the first four points in the final.
Jasvir’s over-confidence cost his team a point when his claim of contact with Surender Nada was rejected and earned him a warning. Ran Singh cleverly elbowed out Anup.
U Mumba found its saviour in the heavily-strapped Shabeer Sharafudheen, who tagged two rivals to bring captain Anup and catcher Mohit Chillar back into the game.
Rishank pulling down Maninder appeared to boost the home team morale, but was neutralised by captain Anup’s loss as Panthers kept their nose ahead (18-14) at half-time.
Panthers catchers Navneet, Chavan and Ran Singh muscled in with points at a time when key players in U Mumba were out. Jasvir rubbed it in with audacious raids, tagging two as the home team were all out for the second time.
U Mumba asked for a decision review for a bonus after a raid by captain Anup, but the referral verdict went against the home team. He won a clever point on the next raid with a toe touch.
Earlier, Patna Pirates defeated Bengaluru Bulls 29-22 to clinch the third place. Ravi Dalal (four points), Sandeep Narwal (three) performed for the Pirates, while Parmod Singh (four) and Ajay Thakur (two) excelled for the fourth-place finisher.
Meanwhile, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra said, the ProKabaddi League’s second season would be held in March, 2015.
The results: Final: Jaipur Pink Panthers 35 (Maninder Singh 7, Rajesh Narwal 7, Prashant Chavan 6) bt U Mumba 24 (Anup Kumar 11). Best defender: Prashant Chavan. Best raider: Maninder Singh.
Third place: Patna Pirates bt Bengaluru Bulls 29-22. Best raider: Ravi Dalal (PP). Best defender:Suresh Kumar (PP).