Defending champion Bengaluru Bulls’ return to its home base didn't go as planned as it fell to a 32-23 loss to Gujarat Fortunegiants in match 67 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) season seven at the Sree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
The match appeared to be on the knife’s edge with Gujarat leading by just two points at 24-22 with four minutes to go. But during a do-or-die raid, Sachin collected two points to help the visitor pull away before a second all-out hastened the Bulls’ end. The home side will need to come up with a much better effort against Tamil Thalaivas on Sunday.
As it Happened| Gujarat beats Bengaluru, Mumbai thumps Jaipur
Star raider Pawan Kumar Sehrawat, nursing an ankle strain, was off colour, accumulating only three points. Skipper Rohit Kumar didn’t fare any better as his side fell to its fifth defeat in seven matches.
Only defenders Saurabh Nandal (8 points) and Mahender Singh (4) gave decent accounts of themselves, instrumental as they were in effecting two super tackles to narrow the score to 21-18 after their opponent had surged ahead to lead 18-12 at half-time.
Gujarat's performance, on the other hand, was a team effort. Sachin and G.B. More top-scored with five points each and they were closely followed by Parvesh Bhainswal and Rohit Gulia at four apiece.
“It would have helped if we had a good third raider,” said Rohit after the loss. “But it wasn’t like Gujarat was raiding well. The defence of both teams was good. But one lapse at the end proved costly.”
In the day’s second tie, U Mumba thrashed Jaipur Pink Panthers 47-21. Abhishek Singh top-scored for the Mumbai-based team with 13 points, including a super raid right at the end, taking out four players in the process.
The Fazel Atrachali-led team inflicted four all-outs on Jaipur in the match as Fazel's opposite number Deepak Hooda could only manage three raid points all game. The Mumbai skipper and his teammate Harendra Kumar ended the contest with six and five tackle points respectively.