Ajay Kumar recorded a second-straight match-winning performance backed by a collective effort from the defence as Gujarat Giants beat defending champions Bengal Warriors 34-25 in Pro Kabaddi Season 8 at the Sheraton Grand, Whitefield in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

Ajay Kumar scored nine raid points for Gujarat Giants while Hadi Oshtorak registered four tackle points. In-form raider Pardeep Kumar scored seven points including a tackle point. 

For Bengal Warriors, captain Maninder Singh scored nine raid points while Ran Singh scored a high 5. 

Both teams started the match cautiously playing on do-or-die raids. However, Pardeep Kumar’s super raid in the first half tilted the momentum in Gujarat’s favour as they gained a slender three-point lead. Bengal then managed to claw their way back to gain parity but Ajay Kumar’s points off successive raids helped Gujarat go into the half-time leading 13-12. 

Substitute Rakesh Sungroya scored a super raid in the early moments of the second half to help Gujarat inflict an all-out and soar the lead at 22-15. 

Trailing by nine points with under 10 minutes remaining, Bengal Warriors looked to reduce the deficit but Gujarat Giants’ defence led by Hadi Oshtorak proved too strong as they managed to prevent Bengal’s lead raider Maninder Singh from scoring points each time. 

Ajay and Pardeep continued to make merry and build on the lead as Bengal Warriors eventually succumbed to a nine-point defeat.

The win took Gujarat to the 10th spot in the PKL standings with 38 points in 14 outings. Meanwhile, Bengal Warriors with 41 points from 15 outings are in sixth place.

Gujarat Giants will be up against Patna Pirates on Friday.