Gujarat Giants suffered a huge setback as they went down to Bengal Warriors in the first game of the triple-header in the ongoing Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 9 on Saturday, November 12 at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune.
Under the leadership of captain Chandran Ranjit, the Giants started the game in an impressive fashion as they secured a 15-14 lead at half-time, however, the two-time PKL finalists lost the slight advantage as they later struggled in the second half to suffer a 27-46 defeat.
Meanwhile, Chandran Ranjit led from the front for the Giants as he picked nine points including completing eight successful raids. Apart from Ranjit, Giants' star raider Rakesh bagged five points in the match comprising four touch points and one bonus point.
Earlier, the Warriors and Giants played out a neck and neck contest in the opening minutes of the match and were locked at 6-6 at the end of the eighth minute. However, Sakthivel R pulled off a couple of tackle points and helped the Warriors inch ahead at 9-8 in the 11th minute. Deepak Hooda also joined the party as the Bengal side continued to hold the lead at 11-9. But, captain Chandran Ranjit didn't take his foot off the pedal and kept the Giants in the game. Rakesh also stepped up his game as the Giants stole the lead at 15-14 just before half-time.
The Giants rode on the momentum and reduced the Warriors to two players on the mat in the opening minutes of the second half. But Rakesh missed a raid, which allowed Maninder Singh to come back on the mat and help the Warriors take the lead at 20-18 in the 25th minute. Maninder effected a multi-point raid in the 29th minute and helped his team inflict an All Out and take a massive lead at 27-20. Jadhav backed up Maninder with a couple of raids as the Warriors attained a stronghold of the match at 35-23 in the 35th minute. Bengal inflicted another All Out in the 39th minute and extended their lead even further. The Warriors kept raging on and eventually walked off the mat as winners of the match.
With 31 points from 12 matches, Gujarat Giants are currently placed 11th in the Pro Kabaddi Season 9 standings and will need to bounce back when they lock horns with Haryana Steelers in their upcoming fixture on Monday, November 14 in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.