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Gujarat Fortune Giants start PKL Season 7 on a winning note

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187   //    21 Jul 2019, 22:01 IST

Pawan Sehrawat was kept quiet by the Gujarat defenders
Pawan Sehrawat was kept quiet by the Gujarat defenders

The Gujarat Fortune Giants put their Season 6 finale loss against Bengaluru Bulls on the back burner as they started-off their Pro Kabaddi League Season 7 by grounding the high-flying raider Pawan Sehrawat in Hyderabad on Sunday. Gujarat Fortune Giants captain, Sunil Kumar led from the front with 6 tackle points as Gujarat handed Rohit Kumar and co. a staggering 42-24 defeat.

Pawan Sehrawat who had turned table in the finals of Season 6 looked clueless in front of the strong Gujarat defense. The top Bengaluru raider did score 8 points including a super raid in the second half but spent almost half of the time (21 minutes) on the bench. 

In the 24th min of the match, when Gujarat was leading 25-14, Pawan came up with a super raid to reduce the margin to 25-18. For a moment, it seemed like the Bulls were likely to repeat their season 6 final performance. 

However, head coach Manpreet Singh had different ideas. He sent Ruturaj Koravi as a substitute to strengthen the defense and the decision worked well. In his next raid, Pawan was benched again. Two minutes later, Giants’ Sonu Jaglan came up with a super raid to close the doors for Bulls.

With Rohit Kumar and Pawan on the bench, Sumit Singh tried to revive hopes for Bulls, but Giants captain Sunil Kumar completed his high-five with a superb ankle hold tackle.

Earlier, the Giants kicked off on a positive note when star raider Sachin Tanwar scored a touch point in his very first raid and sent back dangerous Pawan Sehrawat back on the bench. Soon, Giants raced to a 3-0 lead. The Bulls took time to recover from this early setback. Rohit Gulia was super-tackled in the 6th minute, which allowed the Bulls to make a comeback - 3-4 – and Pawan was back on the mat. However, the celebrations were cut short as the Giants tackled Pawan and Rohit Kumar. Pawan was tackled as many as 4 times in the first half.

Giants’ star raider Sachin Tanwar complemented his team’s defense efforts with some mind-boggling raid points. Just before the half time whistle, Sachin displayed his strong movement skills as he escaped from the clutches of Bulls’ defender Mahender Singh, who attempted an ankle-hold.

Sachin’s touch-points not only raised Giants’ points tally but also inspired Rohit Gulia and G B More, who also caused damage to the opposition. Consequently, Bulls conceded two all-outs in the first 20 mins of the match. At half-time Gujarat led 21-10.

“After loss in last year’s final, we rectified our mistakes and this time had desgined special strategy to tackle Pawan. We have been successful,” said coach Neer Gulia

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