Rakesh Narwal and Pardeep Kumar’s efforts in the second half went in vain as Gujarat Giants lost 31-36 to Jaipur Pink Panthers in Pro Kabaddi Season 8 at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Monday. 

Rakesh Narwal scored eight points including two tackle points while Parvesh Bhainswal scored four tackle points. Pardeep Kumar also contributed with six raid points in the match. 

For Jaipur Pink Panthers, Deepak Hooda scored a super 10 while Sandeep Dhull ended with four tackle points.  

Jaipur Pink Panthers started the match on the front foot with quick raid points from their raiders. However, Ajay Kumar and Rakesh Narwal scored points in succession to bring the scores level at 8-8. Jaipur Pink Panthers continued to mount pressure on the Gujarat defence as they soon managed to inflict an all-out to lead 20-14 going into halftime. 

In the second half, Jaipur continued to march along on the back of their well-oiled defence as the inaugural champions stretched the lead to 25-15 with just over 10 minutes of play remaining. 

Down and reduced to just three men on the court, Gujarat Giants managed to inflict a crucial all-out and moments later scored another super tackle to reduce the deficit to just five points. Pardeep Kumar then got some vital points as the Giants inflicted another all-out to tie the scores 27-27 with seven minutes left on the clock.

However, Gujarat Giants could not seize the momentum as Jaipur’s calm and calculated approach ensured the scoreboard kept ticking. Pardeep Kumar’s two-point raid in the final minute reduced the score difference to just three points but Jaipur Pink Panthers managed to add two more to their tally to walk away with a win. 

The loss meant, Gujarat remained ninth in the PKL standings with 44 points from 17 matches while the win helped Jaipur Pink Panthers climb to the fifth spot with 51 points. Each team will play 22 matches this season before the top-six advance to the PKL playoffs.

Gujarat Giants will be up against Telugu Titans on Wednesday.