The Match in a Tweet

A Topsy-turvy First Half               

Having made changes in almost every game so far, we went into the game against U Mumba with an unchanged starting seven. It showed the faith the coach had in this particular group of players as we looked for our sixth win on the trot.

Sachin Tanwar started off well as usual, picking up a couple of points in successive raids.  In the first few minutes, it was largely the Gujarat raiders versus the U Mumba defenders. Within 6 minutes, Sachin had already notched up 4 raid points. It was slow going for our defense though, as we had only scored one tackle point at that stage.

We held a lead of 3 points, but halfway through the first we let the lead slip as U Mumba went 11-7 ahead. A substitution was made and K Prapanjan was brought in. He immediately made an impact, scoring in his first raid. Our defense was settling into the game as well with Parvesh Bhainswal putting in a timely diving ankle-hold to cut short the deficit.

Soon after, Parvesh initiated another massive tackle to put the in-form Siddharth Desai on the bench. The all-out on U Mumba was looming. In no time, Dong Geon Lee achieved it, and the Giants were back in the lead. It started off slow, but we ended an exhilarating half like we usually do, with a considerable lead of 4 points.

One Super Raid to Change the Game

U Mumba made a comeback early in the second half with Siddharth Desai’s brilliant two-point raid, and a tackle. Suddenly, our lead wasn’t safe. However, the pressure was still on them as we got what was probably the easiest Super Tackle this season. We didn’t even have to put in an effort as Rohit Baliyan cut the sideline to gift us the two points.

The game was still neck-and-neck though, as U Mumba inflicted an all-out on us to make yet another comeback. Nine minutes into the second half, U Mumba had turned the tables on us with a lead of 4 points. Sachin and Ruturaj were keeping us in the game, getting points for us at both ends of the mat.

Parvesh Bhainswal initiated a tackle on Baliyan, and the whole team backed him up spectacularly. Prapanjan made the most of the next do-or-die raid, making it a 3-point game with 6 minutes on the clock.

Then, Mahendra Rajput, who was brought in place of Sachin Tanwar, absolutely turned the game around with a match-winning 7-point raid! There were 5 U Mumba players on the mat when Mahendra Rajput got the touch and looked to escape. The entire team pounced on him, but Mahendra ‘Bahubali’ Rajput managed to cross the mid-line with a touch on each and every player on the mat, also getting the all-out in the process. It was a raid that had to be seen to be believed, one that will make every highlight reel of not just this game but the entire season! With one single raid, Mahendra Rajput had tilted the scales in our favour spectacularly.

In no time, we had turned a deficit into a lead. U Mumba were still reeling from that shocking Super Raid and making errors that we capitalised on.

Nonetheless, there were still tense moments towards the end. The game went into the final raid with the match still up for grabs as we were only one point ahead. Ajay Kumar held his nerve and activated the raid successfully, also getting a touch point in the process.

What a game of kabaddi this was! Both teams played their hearts out to provide some wholesome entertainment for the fans in the stadium and the millions watching at home. Also, we completed our sixth consecutive win!

After an epic game like this one, how can one not be romantic about kabaddi?