Gujarat Giants produced a sensational comeback in the second half before succumbing to an agonizing three-point defeat against Tamil Thalaivas in a thrilling Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 9 match at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday, November 27.
Trailing 20-24 at the end of the first half, the Giants rode on another impressive performance from star all-rounder Parteek Dhaiya to reduce the deficit to 38-39 going into the final minute of the match, however, Thalaivas’ raider Ajinkya Pawar pulled off a couple of magnificent raids as Giants went down 39-42 in a pulsating game.
For the Giants, Parteek Dhaiya picked another Super 10 to his name this season including nine touch points and one bonus point. Parteek was also supported by South Korean raider Dong Geon, who bagged six points in the match.
Narender picked up a few bonus points as the Thalaivas took the lead at 6-2 in the fourth minute. Ajinkya Pawar and Arpit Saroha tackled Rakesh as the side from Tamil Nadu kept forging ahead. However, Parteek Dahiya tackled M Abishek and kept the Giants in the game at 6-10. The Giants kept fighting and reduced the
Thalaivas to two members on the mat. Moments later, the Gujarat side inflicted an ALL OUT and got within touching distance of Gujarat's score.
Thereafter, captain Dong Geon Lee pulled off a raid and Arkam Shaikh tackled Ajinkya Pawar as the Giants inched ahead at 17-15 in the 13th minute. However, Ajinkya Pawar and Narender effected raids and helped their side take the lead at 21-18 in the 18th minute. The side from Tamil Nadu rode on the momentum and held the lead at 24-20 at the stroke of half-time.
Pawar effected a magnificent raid in the opening minutes of the second half and moments later, the Thalaivas inflicted another ALL OUT in the 25th minute to attain a stronghold of the match at 30-22. The Thalaivas tackled Lee in the 30th minute and continued to hold a big lead at 35-26. Giants' Sourav Gulia picked up a couple of tackle points, but Gujarat were too far behind at 28-36 in the 33rd minute.
Thereafter, Chandran Ranjit entered the mat and earned a flurry of raid points and got his team close to the Thalaivas's score at 36-38 in the 39th minute. Parteek Dahiya also contributed with a couple of raid points and reduced the Thalaivas to just one member on the mat. However, Pawar scored a raid and bonus point and ensured that the Tamil Nadu side stayed ahead at 41-38. Pawar pulled off another raid in the last second of the match and helped his side win a thriller in the end.
Having accumulated 36 points from 17 games, the Ram Mehar Singh-coached Giants are currently placed 11th in the Pro Kabaddi Season 9 standings and will next face in-form Puneri Paltan in a do-or-die fixture at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Tuesday, November 29.