JAIPUR SIMPLY BLEW Delhi off the mat tonight with a commanding all-round performance. Dabang Delhi were beaten 26-51, the biggest loss of the season so far.
It wasn't long before the Jaipur established their dominance in the game. Back to back successful raids from Ajay Kumar, Jasvir Singh and Rajesh Narwal kept the pressure on opponent defenders. Jasvir and Rajesh were playing a key role in the defence as well, with Amit Hooda, Ran Singh and Jawahar backing them up. They managed to trap Selvamani and Meraj Sheykh, and at other times kept a low line forcing empty raids out of Kashiling Adake and Meraj Sheykh. It seemed to be working well, and despite a comeback effort from Delhi raiders the Panthers were sitting on an 11-26 lead at half-time.
The Delhi defenders switched to a more aggressive stance in the second half. They trapped Jasvir, Tushar Patil and Mahipal Narwal. Kashiling Adake ran a successful raid for Delhi, followed by a double-touch run by Deepak Narwal. 29 minutes in, Jaipur were still ahead at 19-28 but Delhi were showing signs of a slow recovery.
This is where the Panthers' defenders stepped up. Down to 3 on the mat, it was up to them to avoid the all-out and mitigate the risk of Delhi closing the gap. In two back to back spectacular super tackles, Jasvir Singh and Amit Hooda captured Meraj and Deepak. Then Mahipal Narwal got a double touch out of the Delhi defence. Suddenly Delhi's momentum was lost, and Jaipur were happy to play defensive sitting on a 20-35 lead.
With just about 6 minutes remaining, Delhi had no option but to go all-out. They did and it did not go well for them. Meraj got caught, Rajesh Narwal came raiding and got a touch, leaving only Kashilong Adake on the mat. Kashiling went raiding, got the bonus point, then as the defenders pounced on him tried to jump over them. Unfortunately his knee hit Jasvir Singh in the face. Bleeding, he fell on the mat. He had to be carried out on a stretcher but he did the job. Delhi were all-out and Jaipur had a 21-40 lead.
The last few minutes saw an aggressive brand of kabaddi from both teams. Rajesh Naewal ran a super raid. Kashiling got a touch and got trapped in the next two times he raiding. Deepak Narwal got pinned too. Rajesh Narwal and Amit Nagar added to Jaipur's tally. In the end, Jaipur clocked in the biggest victory margin of the season yet, leaving Delhi behind 26-51.
In a competition where close games and photo-finishes are regular occurences, this game put up a rare display of all-round superiority. All of Delhi's strategies seemed to have failed, and Jaipur Pink Panthers simply looked a class apart on the mat. And their thumping victory was rewarded with a move to the top of the table. The Panthers are now leading the league, with 20 points from 6 games, above Puneri Paltan by score difference.