The Gujarat Giants and Tamil Thalaivas fought tooth and nail throughout, as the match ended in a 31-31 tie at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. The Tamil Thalaivas had debutant Narender register a SUPER 10 while Rakesh scored 13 points for the Gujarat Giants.
Both teams got off the blocks quickly with Rakesh and Narender picking up the first points for their sides. Both teams held strong in the defensive unit and weren’t taking too many chances in their raids. The Giants rode on Rakesh and Ranjit’s points and took the lead at the midway stage of the first half.
The Thalaivas turned to Himanshu, Narender and Ajinkya Pawar for an impulse, while the Giants looked to build on their lead. Rakesh and Ranjit continued to lead the charge for the Giants, while in the other corner, Sahil Gulia was outstanding in marshalling the defence for the Thalaivas. At the half-way stage, the Giants led 18-16 in what was turning out to be a fiery contest.
The Thalaivas kicked off the second half with the stellar Narender continuing to perform well before M Abishek’s tackle gave them their first ALL OUT, and subsequently the lead. The early exchanges of the second essay were a quiet affair with the Korean Dong Geon Lee also registering his first points.
The Thalaivas were starting to up the ante after the early lull but found the Giants tough to break through. Nonetheless, Narender wasn’t perturbed and kept chipping away, who had a 3-point lead with just over 9 minutes to go.
Abishek was keeping strong in defence while Narender went on to get his SUPER 10 on debut and the Thalaivas were motoring along. With just under 5 minutes in the game, the Giants needed to overturn a 4-point lead. Rakesh suddenly went through the gears in the final minutes, picking up crucial raid points and dragging the Giants back into the game as both sides were tied 31-31 with less than a minute to go. Eventually, the teams treaded carefully and settled for a 31-31 tie.