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PKL 8: Bharat, Pawan shine as Bengaluru beat Jaipur, stay alive in playoffs race

Raiders Bharat and Pawan Sehrawat helped Bengaluru Bulls beat Jaipur Pink Panthers 45-37 in Match 114 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 here on Sunday. Both, Bharat (15 points) and Pawan (10) scored Super 10s as the Bulls clinched an important victory in their fight for a spot in the playoffs.

Jaipur dominated the early stages of the match, but a series of multi-point raids by Bharat helped Bengaluru stage a comeback. The eight-point margin of the loss means Jaipur didn't get a single point in the playoffs race. Arjun Deshwal was the lone star for Jaipur with another Super 10 (16 points).

Jaipur started the match on the front foot with their defence opting for an aggressive stance. Sandeep Dhull tackled Bengaluru captain Pawan Sehrawat in the first raid of the game to set the tempo for his side. The Panthers raced to a lead and got close to an all-out by the 10th minute. But Bulls' defender Jaideep clinched a Super Tackle to keep his team alive on the mat. Pawan Sehr'wat's 2-point raid then initiated a mini-revival, but at the other, Arjun Deshwal kept finding easy points for Jaipur.

The Panthers eventually got their all-out in the 14th minute to open a 5-point lead. But Bulls immediately staged a comeback with raider Bharat leading the way. He produced two 2-point raids to completely change the balance of the match. That gave the Bulls an opportunity to inflict an all-out and they pulled it off to level the scores at 18-18. Bharat then secured a 3-point Super Raid to catapult Bengaluru into the lead. The first half ended with scores 22-19 and Jaipur having just 4 on the mat, the organisers said in a release on Sunday.

Pawan Sehrawat started the second half with a 2-point raid. His blitzkrieg in the early minutes gave the Bulls another all-out and improved the lead to seven points. Arjun Deshwal tried his level best to keep Jaipur in the game, picking up his Super 10 in the process. But Bengaluru had Bharat also in good form and he kept finding errors from the Panthers' defence. Bharat picked his Super 10 as the Bulls sustained the pressure on Jaipur.

Arjun Deshwal stepped up a gear as Jaipur slowly initiated a comeback. He found errors in the Bulls' defence while at the other end the Panthers successfully tackled Pawan and Bharat. They made it a 4-point game but the Bulls' G.B. More clinched a Super Tackle to temporarily kill Jaipur's momentum. That proved to be decisive as the Bulls halted Jaipur's attempt at inflicting an all-out.

The team from Bengaluru had an 8-point lead with two minutes remaining. Bharat added more raid points for the Bulls as they closed in on an important victory. Jaipur thought they had done enough to earn one point from the match, but Pawan scored a touchpoint in the last raid to ensure the Bulls won the match with an 8-point margin.

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