Gujarat Fortunegiants produced a composed performance to outfox defending champions Bengaluru Bulls 32-23 in a Pro Kabaddi match at the Sree Kanteerava indoor stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.
Sachin’s five raid points and a collective effort from the team’s defence helped Gujarat beat the home side in a tight encounter that was the repeat of last season’s final.
Importantly for Gujarat, the result catapulted them to sixth in the table.
Sachin was back in the line-up for the Fortunegiants and it was Gujarat who started the match on the front foot. They came into the match with 7 losses in 8 matches but the team showed no signs of their bad form.
Pawan Sehrawat was having an unusually quiet game for the Bulls but he worked well with Rohit Kumar to keep pace with the Gujarat side in the first half.
But a miscalculation from the Bengaluru defence, which saw both Mohit Sehrawat and Amit Sheoran go out of bounds, handed over the momentum to the Fortunegiants who piled on the pressure to force an all-out on the home team in the 14th minute of the half and thus build a four-point lead.
The Gujarat defence, especially Parvesh Bhainswal and Sumit Kumar, looked sharp in the first half that ended 18-12 with Gujarat in the lead.
The second half saw both sets of raiders struggled to fetch points as the defences dominated.
Sumit Kumar was once again in the thick of things for the Fortunegiants, pouncing on every opportunity to tackle Pawan Sehrawat.
Bengaluru’s Saurabh Nandal was having a stupendous game in their defence too, rushing to a High 5 (awarded to defenders with 5 tackle points or more) in the mid-stages of the second half to set up an enticing final five minutes of the game.
The Bulls kept matching Gujarat in all departments but couldn’t find a way to reduce Fortunegiants’ lead.
The home side were playing on the do-or-die situations but Sachin pulled out a two-point raid with two minutes remaining to increase the lead to five points.
Another blunder in Bulls’ planning led to an all-out in the final move of the match which meant Bengaluru squandered a chance to walk away with one point.
U Mumba thrash Jaipur Pink Panthers
U Mumba thumped arch-rivals Jaipur Pink Panthers 47-21 in the second game on Saturday.
An all-round performance from U Mumba, championed by raider Abhishek Singh’s Super 10 (with 13 raid points), secured a crucial win for the Mumbai outfit against a team with which they have plenty of history with. The win allowed Mumbai to climb to fifth in the points table while the Pink Panthers remained third.
U Mumba dominated the first half against Jaipur, ending with a 16-point gap – the best lead going into the half time in Season 7. Their raiders, both Abhishek Singh and Arjun Deshwal, looked comfortable on the mat while Sandeep Narwal pulled off powerful tackles to stifle the Jaipur raiders.
The Mumbai side enforced their first all-out on Jaipur in the 10th minute of the match and followed it up with another in the 16th minute as Jaipur looked perplexed at what hit them. Worryingly for the Pink Panthers, their defence was having a bad day too, with no successful tackles in a first half that ended 23-7 in favour of Mumbai.
Captain Deepak Niwas Hooda’s form has been something of a worry for the Pink Panthers and his slump continued in the second half as U Mumba pulled further clear.
The Mumbai side inflicted a demoralising third all-out in the fourth minute after the restart to push the lead to 22 points as Fazel Atrachali and Harendra Kumar joined Sandeep Narwal among the tackle points. Unfortunately for U Mumba, Sandeep Narwal took a blow on the head during a tackle and had to be replaced in the seventh minute of the half.
Atrachali and Harendra Kumar secured their High 5s as U Mumba forced another all-out on the Pink Panthers with three minutes remaining in the game to cross the 40-point mark. The match ended with a brilliant move by the Abhishek pulling off a massive four-point Super Raid and clinching his Super 10.
On Sunday, UP Yoddha face Bengal Warriors before Bengaluru Bulls take on Tamil Thalaivas.
|1||DABANG DELHI K.C||11||9||1||1||49|
|3||JAIPUR PINK PANTHERS||12||7||5||0||37|