The Match in a Tweet

Slow yet comfortable start

After a comfortably fought victory over Jaipur Pink Panthers, Coach Manpreet Singh made one change to starting line as we took on the same opponent. All-rounder Iranian Hadi Oshtorak was into the starting lineup in place of South Korean raider Dong Geon Lee. Game started with couple of empty raids from both the teams. It was K Prapanjan who put us on the board with a bonus point.

A game which started slowly with couple of empty raids as the defensive units of both the teams were not letting out any easy points on either side. It was a key tackle initiated by Parvesh Bhainswal to give us our first tackle point. On a Do-or-Die raid Hadi was able to avoid a dash on him to reach to the middle line. Soon after the raiders picked up there play and started adding points to our tally and reduced Panthers to one player. We were able to get the first all-out of the game on the Panthers to race to a 7-point lead. Our defenders were not allowing any points to them which showed with all the empty raids by Deepak Niwas Hooda. Sachin was delivering when it mattered the most on Do-or-Die raid for us getting hand touch on the corner with a running hand touch on the left corner Sandeep Dhull to get his 100th raid point of the season. He has settled into the team with ease getting valuable points when our primary raider Sachin Tanwar is off the mat. After what started to be a slow encounter our players picked up the pace carefully not committing unnecessary errors to give up easy points. We were in a comfortable position with 7 points lead to our name.

Nervy half

We started the second half where we left off, Sachin Tanwar got us a straight point with the first raid. Which was followed by a clever two-point raid from K. Prapanjan when he was dashed by two players and he cleverly moved his toes over the midline. With two players on the mat for the Panthers, K Prapanjan was able to take touch on Deepak Niwas Hooda and reduced them to one player. Panthers made a substitution and brought on Kenyan raider David Mosambayi who was tackled out and we were able wipe out Jaipur yet again. We increased our lead to 12 points.

After which we made some errors and took an all-out as they reduced our lead to 4 points. It seemed at this point that it would be a close game. We let our guard down in the second half and were allowing them to make a comeback into the game. Sachin Vittala had an impressive block when team needed a revival. In the very next raid by K. Prapanjan was able to get two points and complete his fouth Super 10 of the season and gave us much needed points. It seemed like we got our groove back and notched up our game after the pep talk from our coach. We regained our lead with some excellent tackles from Sachin Vittala and Parvesh Bhainswal, who took over Fazel Atrachali as top defender of the season.

With a 4-point lead to us and 2 minutes to go it was still a close game. After an error from our captain we were reduced to four men on the mat and we had a Do-or-Die raid which went unsuccessful. With just 3 players on the mat the game came to down to the wire. Our coach gave the players a clear strategy for the raid that was coming from the Panthers, which was executed successfully only to allow a single point to them. With the last raid of the match, coach Manpreet Singh gave the responsibility to Rohit Gulia who came through to get an error from their defence and win the game for us by slender two points.

After giving up the lead, our Giants held their nerves in the final minutes to come out on top.