Gujarat Fortunegiants asserted its credentials as one of the teams to watch out for in Pro Kabaddi League 2019 as it beat Dabang Delhi, which was riding a high of three wins on the trot, at the NSCI indoor stadium on the penultimate day of the second leg in Mumbai on Thursday.
A classy raid from Rohit Gulia inspired the fightback from 17-18 down. A solid defence and some smart raiding helped Gujarat ease its way to a thrilling and deserving 31-26 win.
Gujarat FortuneGiants remains unbeaten: As it happened
Delhi fought back at every step when allowed to - Chandran Ranjit’s Super Tackle on Sachin Tanwar resulting in the blues drawing level at 20-20.
Gujarat, now unbeaten in three games, was well served by G.B. More (nine tackle points) marshalling the defence and all-rounder Gulia who scored eight points including four touch points, two bonus points, one tackle point.
Naveen Kumar top-scored with 10 but finished on the losing side for a change. He leads the raiders list with 41 raid points.
The Joginder Narwal-led Delhi pushed itself into a corner early on with empty raids, forcing Naveen into an unsuccessful do-or-die raid. Chandran, too, couldn't escape the rival catcher Sumit’s grip. Delhi's defence muscled in by trapping Gujarat attackers Sachin Tanwar and Rohit Gulia as a gripping contest played out early on.
Naveen and Chandran sparked a turnaround for Delhi through a streak of fruitful raids, converting a 5-9 deficit into a 12-10 lead after an all-out on under-pressure Gujarat. The lead swelled to 14-11 at the break.
Gujarat cashed in on a bit of over-confidence by the rival raiders to close the gap. Chandran stretched the defence to the limit in an effort to get a touch on the left cover, only to run into a trap as other catchers closed in to trap him with ease. Vishal Mane and Chandran were slow to react as Gulia forced his way past them to the centreline. The raider repeated his act to give his side a slim lead at 20-18. The Fortunegiants rode on that momentum till the end of the game.
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