Gujarat Fortunegiants overcame a narrow first-half deficit to secure a 25-25 tie against Bengal Warriors in the latter’s first home match at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indoor Stadium in Kolkata on Saturday. Rohit Gulia put on an exceptional second-half showing and scored 5 raid points without being tackled even once. Skipper Maninder Singh top-scored for the hosts with 9 raid points to his name.
Maninder Singh’s two-point raid started things off well for Bengal Warriors and helped them maintain early pressure on Gujarat Fortunegiants. However, Gujarat Fortunegiants struck back by sending him to the bench in his third raid and then levelling the scores through young raider Sonu Jaglan.
It remained a neck-and-neck battle after that with Bengal Warriors’ raiders giving them a lead and Gujarat Fortunegiants drawing level through Sachin and their defence. Jeeva Kumar’s tackle on More G B in the 13th minute followed by Maninder’s touch on Gujarat Fortunegiants skipper Sunil Kumar helped Bengal Warriors open up a three-point lead. But a Sonu Super Raid took care of three main Bengal Warriors defenders in Jeeva, Rinku Narwal and Mayur Shivtarkar and put the pressure back on the home team.
Bengal Warriors showcased their defensive might from there by sending Sachin and More G B to the bench in successive Gujarat Fortunegiants raids to take a 15-13 lead going into halftime.
Rohit Gulia started the second period off on a positive note for Gujarat Fortunegiants, putting in three successful raids in quick time. He got able support from Sachin and the duo did not allow Bengal Warriors’ defence any easy points which eventually gave helped their team get the lead four minutes into the half.
Sukesh Hegde was brought in by Bengal Warriors and immediately found success in his second raid. Baldev also took down Sachin in the 7th minute to give Bengal Warriors their first tackle point of the half and help them equalise at 19-19.
Guila kept the scoreboard ticking for Gujarat Fortunegiants but Hegde and Mohammad Nabibakhsh made sure the home side were never too far behind in the contest. This enabled Bengal Warriors to draw abreast with a minute left in the match through Maninder’s two-point raid.
Gulia came in for the final raid of the match but neither team took any chances and chose to settle for a 25-25 tie.
Bengal Warriors –
Best Raider – Maninder Singh (9 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Baldev Singh (3 Tackle Points)
Gujarat Fortunegiants –
Best Raider – Sachin (6 Raid Points)
Best Defender – Sunil Kumar (3 Tackle Points)