A superb all-round performance by Gujarat Giants saw them earn their first victory in vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 at the Shree Kanteerava Indoor Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. The Giants, bolstered by Rakesh's 15 points, beat Puneri Paltan 47-37 in the final game of the night.
A hesitant start by both teams saw the Giants pull away into the lead, courtesy of Rakesh's constant successful raids. Despite not getting many touch points, Puneri Paltan's raiders kept their team within touching distance through bonus points.
However, it all fell apart for the Paltans soon enough with Rakesh catching out both Fazel Atrachali and Mohammad Nabibakhsh in consecutive raids to establish an emphatic lead. The last Paltan man on the mat, Aslam Inamdar was caught while raiding as the Giants inflicted the first All-Out of the game to take a five-point lead at 16-11.
The All-Out galvanised Puneri Paltan into action. Their captain Fazel Atrachali was at the forefront of the resurgence with his ankle hold on Rakesh, and then a subsequent tackle on Chandran Ranjit that meant the Giants lost their two lead raiders in the space of two minutes. At the other end, Inamdar had chipped away at their lead too. However, the Giants still went into halftime leading 19-17.
The Paltan’s started the second half where they'd left off the first, hacking away at the Giants' lead. Soon enough, they inflicted their first All-Out and took the lead for the first time at 22-21.
The turning point, however, came with the Giants' raider Rakesh catching Atrachali out on a raid halfway through the second half. Minutes after that, the Giants inflicted their second All-Out of the match to retake the lead.
A Super Raid by Rakesh — catching out Atrachali, Balasaheb Jadhav and Mohit Goyat — led to another All-Out with five minutes of the game left as the Giants took a near unassailable lead at 43-31. It was one they held onto as they registered their first victory of the season.
Best Raider -Rakesh (15 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Sourav Gulia (5 Tackle Points)
Best Raider - Aslam Inamdar (19 Raid Points)
Best Defender - Gaurav Khatri (3 Tackle Points)
Where to watch vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 LIVE?
Catch all the LIVE action from vivo Pro Kabaddi Season 9 on the Star Sports Network and LIVE streaming on Disney+Hotstar.