Gujarat Fortune Giants dominate from start to finish to secure 35-20 win over Puneri Paltan
Gujarat Fortune Giants exhibited their title credentials and dominated Puneri Paltan to clinch an easy 35-20 win in an extremely one-sided encounter. Theirs was a complete team effort as the raiders and defenders contributed effectively to help their side win their only match in the home leg of the Bengaluru Bulls.
The first eight minutes of the match saw both teams get off to a slow start as there were only six raid points combined between them as the scores were level at 5-5. It was at that critical juncture that the Fortune Giants seized the initiative, relying on their defence to take a two-point lead. What was surprising was that the important tackle that gave them the lead came from lead raider Sachin Tawar. They never relinquished that lead, going on to add to it thanks to two brilliant raids from Sachin, as he took on the entire Pune defence and executed an all out, taking the score to 13-5.
Around the three minute mark, a raid from Prapanjan went wrong as he strayed into the lobby without getting a touch. However, three Paltan defenders made the mistake of following him thinking he had touched their teammate. The raider smartly called for a replay as he confirmed he had not touched any opponent and the umpires rightly awarded three points to Gujarat and one to Pune to make the scores 20-10. This was the moment that extended the lead to double digits and gave the Fortune Giants a comfortable cushion that changed their approach to the game and allowed them to control it.
The second half saw Puneri Paltan at a disadvantage as they were battling with fewer men on the mat and so their strategy was to wait for do-or-die raids to try and execute a super tackle and reduce the deficit. Their strategy paid dividends as they were able to reduce the lead to eight points, making it 24-16 thanks to two super tackles from Sandeep Narwal. However, it was the Gujarat defence that reigned supreme overall as they prevented the Pune raiders from exerting any influence.
A great raid from Prapanjan ended any hopes the Paltan harboured of making a comeback as he dismissed both Girish Ernak and Narwal to execute another all out, making the score 29-16 with 11 minutes left to go in the game. The Fortune Giants continued to rack up tackle points and the game eventually petered out to help Manpreet Singh's men secure a deserved 35-20 win.
The raiders impressed once again as Sachin scored seven points while Prapanjan chipped in with five points of his own. The defenders were not to be left behind as captain Sunil Kumar and Ruturaj Koravi both had four tackle points while Parvesh Bhainswal added two more. What made this a complete team effort was illustrated in the numbers as Gujarat Fortune Giants scored a total of 13 raid points and 14 tackle points, thus sharing the workload across all members.
The Gujarat defence also made a mark by limiting the Pune raiders to only six points totally, their lowest ever total in Pro Kabaddi League history, as was reported by the commentators. The result means that Gujarat Fortune Giants are now top of the Zone A table with 63 points from 15 matches, one point ahead of U Mumba, having played a game less. They showed that they are the best team in the league and solidified their title credentials.