Zone A toppers Gujarat Fortunegiants ensured that the Jaipur Pink Panthers made a losing start to their home leg by condemning them to a 29-23 defeat in front of their supporters at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Friday. Chandran Ranjit top-scored with seven points, while Sachin bagged six points.
Both teams started the game tentatively as Gujarat managed to open a slender 5-3 lead after the first quarter of the match. The Panthers began to play with more confidence as the half progressed but Gujarat’s formidable defence ensured that they stayed on top.
It looked like the Fortunegiants were about to open up a sizeable lead in the final five minutes of the half but a two-point raid by Pawan Kumar gave the hosts a boost. They ended the half by picking up the last point of the opening period courtesy of a successful raid by Nitin Rawal, which made it 11-11 heading into the break.
The second segment was played at a slightly faster pace with the sides looking to score from virtually every raid. Neither team managed to create daylight between them, however, as they continued to trade punches with the score reading 16-16 after 30 minutes.
The last quarter of the contest saw the Zone A leaders trying to pull away from the hosts but a super tackle by Jasvir Singh on Sachin in the 35th cut Gujarat’s lead to 20-18. Another super tackle by Jasvir moments later on Ranjit further reduced the deficit to 21-20. However, Gujarat managed to hold their nerve and enforced the first All-Out of the match in the final minute of the encounter to seal the win and claim maximum.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.