Double defending champions Patna Pirates rode on Pradeep Narwal’s menacing raids to rout a depleted Jaipur Pink Panthers 47-21 in a lopsided contest of the Pro Kabaddi League second Inter-Zone Challenge Week at Netaji Indoor Stadium today. Piling on the points for Pirates, Narwal became the fastest to reach 100 raid points in PKL Season 5 to give their side a ballistic start. He finished the match with 21 raid points, exactly the same points their opponents manage summing up the plight for the depleted Panthers.
Pirates have been at their menacing best in attack with ‘Dubki King’ Narwal, Monu Goyat (10) and Vinod Kumar, all shining for them to sign off the Kolkata leg on a high. Pirates now jumped to second place with 33 points from nine matches, while Panthers remained on 28 from nine outings. Their defence may have looked weak but they were not tested much against a depleted Panthers for their seventh win over Panthers from 11 matches overall. Panthers, who defeated Zone A leaders Gujarat Fortunegiants in their previous outing here, cut a sorry figure in front of their star Bollywood owner Abhishek Bachchan.
Narwal reached the milestone in style with a brilliant super raid and reduced their opponents to one man in the sixth minute for a 8-4 lead as it was a walk on the mat for Pirates. In absence of their experienced duo of regular captain Manjeet Chillar who’s been sidelined because of an injury and Jasvir Singh (niggle), Panthers looked terribly out of sorts. Veteran Navneet Gautam was called upon to lead the side but they hardly troubled the two-time champions. In desperate bid to comeback, Pawan Kumar attempted a do-or-die raid but only to succumb to the pressure of a resolute defence as Panthers trailed 5-14 with after eight minutes.
Such was Pirates’ domination that they kept Pantheres in one digit as long as two minutes in the second-half. With a commanding 19-9 lead at half-time Panthers virtually sealed the match and Narwal took full advantage of the young squad. Narwal with another super raid inflicted a third allout on Panthers to make it 37-14 for Pirates in the 29th minute and it was about time that they sealed the issue.