Gujarat Fortunegiants became the first team in the fifth season of VIVO Pro Kabaddi to win the opening two fixtures of their home leg after a 29-25 victory over Delhi Dabang K.C. at The Arena in Ahmedabad on Saturday. Sachin top-scored for Gujarat with eight points and was well supported by captain Sukesh Hegde, who scored seven points.
Delhi skipper Meraj Sheykh opened the scoring with a brilliant pursuit that caught his counterpart Hegde off guard, whereas Sachin picked up the home side’s first point from the very next raid, courtesy of a well-executed bonus as he looked to build upon his fine performance against U Mumba from last night.
Both sides traded blows through the entirety of the opening period, keeping abreast of each other as the referee blew for the half-time whistle with the score reading 10-10. The low-scoring first-half saw Hegde as his team’s best raider with four touch points to his credit, while Ravi Dalal and Sheykh accounted for three points each for Delhi.
The second half began with four men on the mat for Gujarat and five for Delhi. However, a super raid by Sheykh that sent four Gujarat raiders packing helped set up the first All-Out of the match soon after to make the score 17-12 in favour of the team from the national capital four minutes into the second period.
Gujarat though weren’t prepared to throw in the towel just yet and when Sachin bagged two points off a do-or-die raid in the 31st minute, the hosts had cut down Delhi’s deficit to just one point at 19-20. The Fortunegiants had their first All-Out of the night just a minute later to make it 23-22 in their favour with a little over eight minutes to play.
With the game resting on a knife’s edge the tension was palpable as both sides adopted a more defensive approach to see out the game. But once again it was the inspired Sachin who rode the tackle of two Delhi defenders off a do-or-die raid to make it 28-25 for Manpreet Singh’s men with 129 seconds left in the game.
The final nail in coffin for Delhi came in the last minute when a successful tackle by Abozar Mighani ensured that the game ended 29-25. Next up for the Fortunegiants are Jaipur Pink Panthers, who are high on confidence after a win of their own in their previous match.
Check out our snapshots from this match here.