Panchkula: Gujarat Fortunegiants thrashed Tamil Thalaivas 50-21 in a VIVO Pro Kabaddi League match at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula on Saturday. Rohit Gulia (11 points) and Sonu (15 points) secured Super 10s (awarded for 10 or more raid points) for Gujarat Fortunegiants as Tamil Thalaivas once again failed to impress on the mat. This was the third time Thalaivas defence conceded fifty or more points in a match this season.
The half was completely dominated by the Gujarat side, which came as no surprise considering the winless run Tamil Thalaivas were in. Manjeet Chhillar missed out from the starting lineup for the team from Chennai but the newcomers brought no change in fortunes for the star-studded team as they continued to leak points. Rohit Gulia and Sonu picked points with ease for the Gujarat team while in defence Vinod Kumar and Pankaj kept successfully tackling Thalaivas’ raiders Rahul Chaudhari and Ajith Kumar. The Gujarat side secured their first All-Out on the 10th minute of the match to open up a 7-point lead and it was cruise mode for the Fortunegiants from thereon. The first half ended with scores 20-9.
The second half turned out to be just like the first half with the Thalaivas offering very little in defence and attack. SonuJaglan and Rohit Gulia raced to their Super 10s as Gujarat inflicted two All-Outs in quick succession (6th and 12th minute of the half). Rahul Chaudhari reached a milestone of 1000 VIVO Pro Kabaddi League points with seven minutes left in the match but that was perhaps the only positive story in yet another hapless performance by the Thalaivas. The Gujarat raiders and defenders continued to pick points at will and crossed the 50-point mark in the last minute to secure a comprehensive win to keep their chances of a playoff berth still alive.
UP Yoddha beat Haryana Steelers 37-30
Meanwhile, Haryana Steelers opened their VIVO Pro Kabaddi League home leg with a 30-37 loss against UP Yoddha in front of a packed audience at the Tau Devi Lal stadium in Panchkula on Saturday.
Shrikant Jadhav scored a Super 10 and Nitesh clinched a High 5 in a well-balanced performance by the UP team who now have seven wins from their last eight matches.
The game had a nervous start as both teams struggled to get the cohesion on the mat correctly. Surprisingly, it was the secondary raiders of both teams who got their teams going with Surender Gill producing a three-point Super Raid in the fourth minute to give the visiting team a lead. But Vinay produced a three-point raid for Haryana in the subsequent raid to restore the parity. Dharmaraj Cheralathan’s return from injury didn’t seem to have changed the Steelers’ defensive abilities on the mat as they were outscored by the UP defence in the first half ( UP – 5, Haryana – 2). The half ended with UP leading 15-11 but importantly for the home team, there were only three men remaining on the mat for Yoddha.
The second half continued to be the same, with Haryana scuffing chance after chance to inflict an All-Out as UP’s lead grew to 8 points. Both defences continued to fail as raiders picked up easy points. Haryana eventually secured their All-Out in the 7th minute of the half but still remained four points away from Yoddha. The All-Out in fact, hardly disturbed the balance of the match, as UP continued to dominate the proceedings despite the setback. Nitesh Kumar picked up a High 5 as the UP defence held firm and the team inflicted an All-Out on Steelers with under two minutes remaining to open up an 8-point gap. The lead proved too much for Haryana who lost the match by a margin of seven points that helped them secure a point.