Gujarat Fortunegiants played out a 30-30 tie with U.P. Yoddha at the Motilal Nehru School of Sports in Sonepat in what was the second tie of the opening day of the Haryana leg on Friday. Sukesh Hegde was Gujarat’s top-scorer with five points, while Nitin Tomar managed eight points for Lucknow.
Both teams were neck-and-neck in the early stages before a super raid in the 9th minute by Rishank Devadiga gave U.P. a 7-3 lead. Devadiga’s raid went on to enforce an All-Out on Gujarat two minutes later and extended Lucknow’s lead to 13-5.
The Fortunegiants were putting on a valiant fight once the action recommenced on the mat as they looked to eat away at Lucknow’s lead. However, a super tackle by the Yoddha in the final five minutes stemmed Gujarat’s momentum temporarily.
Gujarat though weren’t about to show any respite in attack and were duly rewarded for their effort with an All-Out on Lucknow on the stroke of half-time. It ensured the Fortunegiants were trailing by just two points at the break with the score reading 18-16 in favour of Lucknow.
U.P. began the second period in a buoyant mood and picked up the first four points of the half. The Fortunegiants, however, regrouped and went on to register five unanswered points to make it a one-point game in the 29th minute.
Gujarat then took a 25-22 lead by inflicting an All-Out on Lucknow a minute later courtesy of a brilliant two-point raid in which Pawan Sehrawat executed a frog-jump. The Yoddha weren’t about to go away without a fight either and kept abreast of the Fortunegiants heading into the final five minutes of the game.
A super raid by Tomar in the 38th minute tied things up at 28-28 and set up a tight and nervy finish. Lucknow then retook the lead with a successful tackle in Gujarat’s next raid. However, the Fortunegiants wrestled the lead back immediately with a super tackle in a do-or-die raid for Lucknow. Mahendra Rajput was handed the responsibility making it count in Gujarat’s do-or-die raid but U.P. pulled off another successful tackle as the match ended in a tie. In the first match of the day, Haryana Steelers and defending champions Patna Pirates also played out a tie.