Jaipur Pink Panthers created history by winning the inaugural Pro Kabaddi League here on Sunday after defeating U Mumba 35-24 in the final.
Watched on by a bevy of stars at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium, Jaipur, who topped the league standings, looked assured in defence and combative while attacking to take home the crown at the first time of asking.
Raider Anup Kumar drew first blood for the home side outing three antis in the opening exchanges to give them a 4-2 lead. However, Jaipur, through their top raider Maninder Singh, wrested back the initiative to lead 6-5 before swelling their advantage to 13-7 after 10 minutes courtesy a lona.
However, Anup kept Mumbai in the game with seven points in the first stanza, which finished 18-13 in Jaipur’s favour.
The Jaipur raiders, who were toying with the Mumbai antis, helped themselves to another lona with 13 minutes remaining on the clock to lead 27-15.
Off the court, Abhishek Bachchan, the owner of the Jaipur franchise, was trying hard to control his emotions.
On the court, Jaipur, in no mood to relenquish the advantage they had built in the first 30 minutes, continued to exert their authority. Jasvir Singh, responsible for the second lona, indulged in a bit of gamesmanship as he proceeded to eat up time at the end of the encounter.
The home side got back a few points but the deficit was too much to make up.
Pirates finish third
Bulls, who lost to U Mumba in the second semifinal on Friday, were comfortably beaten by Patna Pirates 29-22 in the third-place play-off.
Bulls were off to a bad start and they were trailing 1-7 within the first five minutes.
Patna, whose fast start caught Bulls on the back foot, eventually worked their way to a first lona of the evening to lead 13-7. Most of the Bulls’ problems in the first-half, which finished 17-9, stemmed from empty raids.