Gujarat Giants held their nerves in the final five minutes of play to turn around a deficit of four points and beat Telugu Titans 34-32 in Pro Kabaddi Season 8 at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The win enabled Gujarat to stay alive in the race for the PKL playoffs.
Playing in the starting seven, Rakesh Sungroya top-scored for Gujarat Giants with eight raid points while Girish Ernak scored a high 5.
For Telugu Titans, Rajnish scored a super 10 while Surinder Singh ended with three tackle points in the match.
Drafted in as a substitute for the final five minutes of play, Ajay Kumar returned with two quick raid points of successive raids as Gujarat Giants managed to get better of the Titans’ nervous defence. Pardeep Kumar then scored two more points as Gujarat Giants gained a one-point lead going into the final minute. Girish Ernak’s superb dash on Galla Raju in the penultimate raid sealed the match for the Gujarat Giants.
Earlier, the first half was a battle of equals as raiders from both sides kept the scoreboard ticking. However. Gujarat Giants’ super tackle in the ninth minute of the match slightly tilted the momentum in their favour as they managed to gain a four-point lead. Telugu Titans, though, came back strongly to level the scores 14-14 going into halftime.
Gujarat Giants started the second half in aggressive style as they managed to inflict an all out on Telugu Titans to take the lead at 22-18. However, Telugu Titans soon staged a comeback and managed to return the favour by inflicting an all-out on Gujarat Giants. It's here when Gujarat coach Manpreet Singh’s idea of getting in-form raider Ajay Kumar in as a substitute shifted the momentum completely.
The win took Gujarat Giants to the seventh spot in the PKL standings with 49 points. Meanwhile, Telugu Titans suffered their 13th loss of the season as they continue to remain at the bottom of the standings with 27 points. The top six teams at the end of the league phase will qualify for the PKL playoffs.
Gujarat Giants will be up against U.P. Yoddha next on Friday.