Young raider Arjun Deshwal did the star turn as Jaipur Pink Panthers thrashed Telugu Titans 54-35, while a collective performance helped Bengal Warriors trounce Tamil Thalaivas 52-21 in the Pro Kabaddi League here on Wednesday.
Deshwal scored 14 points as the Panthers clinched an important win in their race for a playoff spot.
They find themselves in the 5th position (top 6 qualifies) with one match remaining in the league stages.
However, their final league match won't be easy with Puneri Paltan also eyeing a spot in the eliminators.
Warriors and Thalaivas were out of the playoff race even before the first whistle but Bengal took it as an opportunity to prove their mettle, while the latter faded away.
Captain Maninder Singh (14 points) and all-rounder Mohammad Nabibakhsh (13 points) picked Super 10s, while Bengal's defence was marshalled efficiently by Abozar Mighani (6 points) and Ran Singh (4 points).
The much-changed Thalaivas had a poor day on the mat with the likes of Sagar and Surjeet Singh struggling to stop the Bengal raiders.
The first half was completely dominated by Bengal Warriors. Maninder Singh and Mohammad Nabibakhsh ran riots in the Tamil defence as the Warriors raced to a quick lead.
Bengal played like their chains had been cut loose – moving freely in their raids, taking aggressive defensive positions on the mat, and most importantly enjoying the process.
The 2019 champions had already been knocked out of the playoff race but wanted to sign off their season on a high.
Tamil Thalaivas had no answers to Bengal's intense pressure and succumbed to an ALL OUT in the 8th minute (via a 3-point Super Raid + 2 for ALL OUT by Nabibakhsh).
Corners Ran Singh and Abozar Mighani also added to the points from the defence while at the other end Thalaivas’ Surjeet Singh and Sagar struggled.
Maninder Singh crossed his Super 10 as the Warriors clinched another ALL OUT with 3 minutes to halftime.
The scores were 28-10 at the interval with Bengal in cruise mode.
The mauling continued after the break with the Warriors clinching another ALL OUT in the 4th minute through a stunning raid (2+2 point) by Nabibakhsh.
He also secured his Super 10 as Thalaivas brought in the changes to give their substitutes an opportunity.
Himanshu and Himanshu Singh tried their best with the raids but didn't trouble Bengal who were already with a huge lead.
With 10 minutes remaining, the scores were 40-18.
Bengal got another ALL OUT with 3 minutes remaining, again through a multi-point raid by Nabibakhsh.
They crossed the 50-point mark leaving their fans to wonder why this team didn't play the same way throughout the season.
Abozar Mighani got his High 5 as the Warriors sustained the pressure in the final minutes to win comfortably.
(Reported by PTI)