FINALLY, JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS brought the U Mumba super- fast to a halt with a well- deserved 35-25 win at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad. With this victory, Jaipur Pink Panthers have revived their hopes of making it to the play-offs.The difference between these sides was the strong defence of Jaipur lead by the duo of young Kuldeep Singh and Prashant Chavan.
While Kuldeep had 6 points and Prashant had 5, both effected a super tackle leaving U Mumba worried. Ran Singh too came up with a super tackle, the third of the first half which placed the winners in a comfortable position at 15-11 at half-time. Thus the Panthers avenged their defeat in the season opener which they lost by a single point.
The five points from the win take the Panthers point tally to 21. This places them above Patna Pirates (20) in fourth place. U Mumba now awaits their fate with the Titans playing Puneri Paltan in the next tie. A win will take the Titans to 44 points in 11 matches. U Mumba has played two matches less.
U Mumba known for their second half recovery never got going in the second half as captain Anup Kumar failed to turn the tide his 2 points in 14 raids tells the story. His counterpart Jasvir too was not his usual self but Sonu Narwal with six points shored them up. Rajesh Narwal, celebrating his birthday contributed five points to contribute substantially to the win that came as a result of a supreme team effort.
Speaking before the match Coach E Bhaskaran had said that his side needed to win all the matches to stay in contention. His team has taken the first step but the road ahead is definitely uphill.
For U Mumba, the absence of Jeeva Kumar and Shabeer Bapu their mainstays hit them. Bhupender and Pawan Kumar could not fill their shoe. Prabhanjan Kumar who made a brief appearance did his bit with a couple of points but that was inadequate. The defeat has given Mumba a wake-up call and they will be back with renewed vigour with the resources they have at hand.
Captain Anup Kumar made no bones about U Mumba’s performance vs Jaipur today.
“Our offence was extremely weak today while our defence made their presence felt as always. We did miss Shabeer immensely. We are going to learn a lot from this loss. I think also we are getting a bit too comfortable and this loss will get us back on track. I take personal responsibility for this loss. I felt that I wasn’t at my best and hence will feed the need to take the responsibility of the loss on myself.”
Jaipur’s smiling captain, Jasvir Singh was in good spirits after beating U Mumba.
“We needed to win this match – this win was good for the ego. We are also more confident now. We still believe in our chances for the play-offs and we were brilliant. More of these performances like tonight are required. This will give us the momentum leading up to the business end of the tournament.”
This article was originally posted here