Arjun Deshwal (in pink) led the Jaipur Pink Panthers charge with 12 points
Arjun Deshwal (in pink) led the Jaipur Pink Panthers charge with 12 points

Sagar-less Thalaivas loses to Pink Panthers 26-41

Thalaivas suffered a double blow on the night as stand-in skipper and right corner Sagar Rathee was stretchered off the mat with an injury in the first half.

CHENNAI: The latest winning streak of Tamil Thalaivas that lasted two matches came to an end on Friday after it went down 26-41 to Jaipur Pink Panthers in Hyderabad.

Thalaivas suffered a double blow on the night as stand-in skipper and right corner Sagar Rathee was stretchered off the mat with an injury in the first half. In the post-match press conference, the Tamil Nadu team’s head coach, Ashan Kumar, did not provide an update on Sagar’s injury but hoped that the ace defender would come back soon.

It is to be recalled that the southern side is without the services of its captain and talismanic raider Pawan Sehrawat, who had to undergo a knee surgery.

raider Arjun Deshwal (12 raid points), secondary raider V Ajith Kumar (9 raid points) and defender Ankush (5 tackle points) impressed for Jaipur, which held a seven-point (20-13) lead at the half-time interval. All-rounder Himanshu (7 points – 3 raid points and 4 tackle points) was the only Thalaivas player to score more than five points.

Pink Panthers dominated the opening few minutes as Thalaivas failed to pick up points in the first five minutes. Around the 10-minute mark, Jaipur inflicted the first ‘All Out’ to earn a six-point cushion at 14-8. The Sunil Kumar-led side extended the advantage to seven points when the teams headed in for the break.

Pink Panthers widened the gap to 10 points at the start of the second period, only for Thalaivas to reduce it to seven again. But, the Jaipur team effected its second ‘All Out’ as it led 33-23 with only a few minutes remaining on the clock. Pink Panthers managed the match well in the end, forcing Thalaivas to return empty-handed.

Following the result, the second-placed Pink Panthers has 59 points from 17 matches while Thalaivas, which is seventh in the table, has 48 points from 17 games.

RESULTS: Jaipur Pink Panthers 41 bt Tamil Thalaivas 26; Gujarat Giants 47 lost to Dabang Delhi 50; Haryana Steelers 33 bt Patna Pirates 23

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